May 10, 2012


Michael Schottenfeld, 16 years old, grew up on the Upper West Side in New York City.  In June of 2010, he was treated by Dr. Joel Scheinfeld for testicular cancer at the Department of Surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.  Michael, along with his brother’s Max and Jason, attends Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School.  As a sophomore Michael is an A student and a basketball player on Columbia’s varsity team.  While still too early to decide, Michael is interested in careers in both medicine and journalism.  Michael finds the work he has done with autistic children particularly rewarding and looks forward to continuing his community service.  As the youngest recipient of the Award of Courage, Michael is honored and grateful for this opportunity to raise awareness and support for cancer research.  Michael would like to thank his friends and family for their love and encouragement.



Howard O. Godnick is a partner in the New York office of Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, focusing his practice in the areas of complex securities and commercial litigation.  A magna cum laude graduate of New York Law School, where he graduated first in his class, Howard was honored to receive the school’s Distinguished Alumnus Award for his pro-bono work on behalf of the victims of Hurricane Katrina. As lead counsel in McWaters v. FEMA, a class action to secure the temporary housing assistance to which Katrina evacuees were entitled by law, he successfully obtained injunctive relief against FEMA, preventing the agency from evicting tens of thousands of hurricane victims from their federally funded hotel rooms pending determinations on their applications for benefits. The precedent-setting case garnered other recognitions for Howard, including pro bono counsel awards from the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty, the Louisiana Bar Association and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights. In addition, he was a finalist for the 2007 Trial Lawyer of the Year Award from the Public Justice Foundation.

After graduating college, Howard spent three years as an actor, standup comic and street mime, and appeared on Saturday Night Live from 1981 to 1983 as a regular extra and bit-part player. After Ringling Brothers offered him a position in their prestigious clown college, Howard chose law school instead.

By November 1992, Howard was on a partnership track at Schulte Roth & Zabel, and the running track outside of the office, having just finished his 4th NYC Marathon – all under 4 hours.  In July, 1993, however, a routine checkup revealed severe blockages in his coronary arteries, and Howard underwent quadruple bypass surgery on his heart.  Taking this as a sign that he should give up distance running, Howard became a regular denizen on the New York spinning scene, until August 2003, when he suffered a heart attack during a spin class in East Hampton, from which he was taken by helicopter to the University of Stony Brook Medical Center.  Howard gave up spinning and turned to a safer pastime – skydiving.  In 2009, Howard was stricken with anterior ischemic optic neuropathy in his left eye, a rare condition that left him with impaired vision in one eye. In 2010, the same neurological condition struck his right eye, leaving Howard visually impaired, extraordinarily sensitive to light, but still able to read through one eye.  The condition, however, required Howard to give up driving, skiing (which he had been doing since he was 3), biking, and other past-times.  He can still skydive, though.

Sitting behind Howard’s desk is a picture he took in India during a “buddy trip” he and his son went on in 2010.  The picture is of a man buying a handful of water on a day when the temperature exceeded 120 degrees.  As sad as this scene is – a poor man using whatever change he could beg for to buy a handful of water to help escape the searing heat – Howard keeps the picture prominently placed in his office as a reminder of the tens of millions of people in the world to whom this man is lucky, because he, at least, can buy that handful of water.  The picture defines “perspective,” and despite the many challenges Howard has been faced with, he considers himself among the lucky ones; the challenges have only made him stronger.

Howard is married to Lisanne Godnick a psychotherapist in private practice in New York City, and they have two sons – Max, a junior at Brown University, and Andy, a freshman at Columbia Preparatory School in New York City.


Award of Courage—Fellows

Ronald DeMatteo, M.D. (1998-1999)
Surgeon Vice Chair, Department of Surgery;
Head, Division of General Surgical Oncology
Memorial Sloan - Kettering Cancer Center
1275 Your Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Ari Brooks, M.D. (2000-2001)
Hahnemann University Hospital
219 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107

Alexander Stojadinovic, M.D. (2001-2002)
Chairman, Department of Surgery
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue, NW Ste EC27B
Washington, DC 20307

Kathryn A. Spanknebel, M.D. (2001-2002)
New York Medical College (NYMC)
Department of Surgery
95 Grasslasnds Road, Munger Pavilion Bldg 5
Valhalla, NY 10595-1690

Margo Shoup, M.D., FACS (2001-2002)
Associate Professor of Surgery Chief, Division of Surgical Oncology
Loyola University Medical Center
EMS Building 110, Room 3238
2160 First Avenue
Maywood, IL 60153

Peter Allen, MD (2002-2003)
Associate Attending, Surgery
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Charles Cha, MD (2003-2004)
Yale-New Haven Hospital
Assistant professor of surgery
Yale Surgical Oncology
800 Howard Avenue, Floor 3
New Haven, CT

Jen Jen Yeh, MD (2004-2005)
Assistant Professor
Division of Surgical Oncology
Departments of  Surgery and Pharmacology
UNC Chapel Hill
170 Manning Dr
1150 Physicians Office Bldg, CB # 7213
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7213

Cristina R. Ferrone, M.D. (2005-2006)
Massachusetts General Hospital
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114-3117

Dr. Robert Canter (2006-2007)
University of California Davis Medical Center
Surgical Oncologist
4501 X St Ste 3010
Sacramento, CA

Rebecca Gladdy, MD (2007-2008)
Mount Sinai Hospital
1225-600 University Avenue
Toronto Ontario M5G 1X5

Jason Park, MD (2008-2009)
St. Boniface General Hospital University of Manitoba
Department of General Surgery
820 Sherbrook Street
Winnipeg, MB R3A 1R9

Aimee Crago, MD, PhD (2009-2010)
Gastric and Mixed Tumor Service
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Jordan Winter, MD (2010-2011)
Department of Surgery
Thomas Jefferson Univerity
1025 Walnut
605 College Building
Philadelphia, PA  19107

Jennifer LaFemina, MD (2011-2012)
Assistant Professor of Surgery
University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center
Department of Surgery
Division of Surgical Oncology
119 Belmont Street, Swift House
Worcester, MA 01655
O: (508) 334-5404
F: (508) 334-5089

Marcus Tan, MBBS (2012-2013)
Assistant Professor, Division of Gastrointestinal & Oncologic Surgery
University of South Alabama & Mitchell Cancer Institute
1660 Springhill Ave, Mobile AL 36604
Office: 251-445-9821

Vinod P. Balachandran, MD (2014-2015)
Surgical Oncologist
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
1275 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065

Amanda Kirane (Current Fellow)
MSKCC Fellow

Gorin Research Fellows
Noah Cohen - 2012-2014
NYU - New York
Adam Levy - 2014-2016
Cornell - New York

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