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The advocacy ripple effect

By Lauryn June 22, 2023

For more than twenty-one years, Brown & Brown Absence Services Group has been helping individuals obtain their Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. Since its founding, Brown & Brown has undergone a few name changes, made several acquisitions, and diversified across business lines to help make it what it is today. Despite the numerous changes, what has remained is our commitment to excellent service and helping our clients in as many ways as possible.

We are proud to have helped over 200,000 individuals obtain their Social Security benefits, many of whom we have supported through other parts of their journey. In our most rewarding relationships, there is a ripple effect through the journey with our clients that begins with SSDI advocacy, continues with securing a Medicare plan that meets their needs, and then extends to helping them return to work through the Ticket to Work program. However, in exceptional circumstances, the ripple travels even farther, leading to something extraordinary. One such case is Tony Laudadio and the Tony Foundation.

The story of Tony Laudadio
First diagnosed with stage 3 renal cell carcinoma in his 20s, Tony is a self-proclaimed cancer warrior. He lost his right kidney and was out of work for several months. Just over two years later, expecting to be in recovery, Tony had two seizures. He was diagnosed with an unrelated brain cancer – oligodendroglia grade III. He was again forced out of work for tests and treatments, putting a financial strain on his family. Today, Tony continues to be a cancer warrior, fighting the battle against both kidney and brain cancer, both of which are considered to be medically stable at this time.

The Tony Foundation
Receiving a cancer diagnosis is the news no family wants to receive. While contending with a life-altering diagnosis, the realities of life “pre-diagnosis” continues along with its many obligations. Often burdened with additional worries, including emotional, social, physical, and even financial concerns, a diagnosis will impact more than just one aspect of life. Suppose a diagnosis and its subsequent treatment are severe and invasive. In that case, it can affect an individual’s ability to work and provide for their family – this is the gap that the Tony Foundation seeks to fill.

Along with Scott Patterson, Tony founded the Tony Foundation to provide financial assistance to help meet the immediate needs of families whose primary income earners, in their most productive years, have been diagnosed with cancer and cannot continue employment. The foundation accomplishes this by:

  • Identifying critical needs for families in crisis due to cancer diagnosis;
  • Filling a financial gap for cancer patients, primarily aged 25-55, who help provide for a family and/or multiple dependents;
  • Providing financial assistance to qualifying families; and
  • Connecting families with other programs and resources for support.

The ripple effect continues
Just as we helped Tony nearly ten years ago, he is helping others today. Through his foundation, he has helped more than 115 families by providing them with financial assistance to help bridge the gap between diagnosis and returning to work after treatment. It is true that cancer cannot be fought by one person alone, and Tony and his foundation are doing their best to support as many families as they can.

At Brown & Brown, we are proud to continue supporting Tony through his journey, most recently participating in a golf tournament as a fundraising effort for the foundation. While our advocacy may look slightly different than it did ten years ago, we remain no less proud to stand alongside Tony in his efforts to provide for others.

Brown & Brown Absence Services Group does not claim to have helped start the Tony Foundation nor is our organization directly affiliated with the Foundation in any way. At Brown & Brown, we are extremely proud of the work the Tony Foundation is doing, and we wish to continue extending those salutations.

Please note that as of 2021, The Advocator Group now conducts business as Brown & Brown Absence Services Group. While our name may have changed, our commitment to excellent service and helping our clients in as many ways as possible has not.

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