12/12/2013 05:12 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Bernie Madoff Victim: 'In A Way It Was A Blessing'

Like thousands of others, Helen Davis Chaitman lost much of her life savings after Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme crumbled five years ago. But what sets her apart from the rest is her surprisingly optimistic attitude about the ordeal.

Chaitman's taken it upon herself to help her fellow victims by representing them in lawsuits seeking their recovered funds and lobbying for law changes that could protect them.

"The really gratifying thing in life is to help other people and to give to other people, and I think in a way it was a blessing to go through this experience because it taught me that," Chaitman told HuffPost Live's Nancy Redd. "I hadn't been as sensitive to the fact that my real pleasure in life comes from helping other people."

Chaitman, a New York City attorney, said the experience has also given her a fresh perspective on the role of money in her life.

"I did focus on money more than I should have, and I don't think it brings you the happiness that a lot of people feel it does," she said.

Catch the full conversation with other victims of Bernie Madoff at HuffPost Live HERE:



10 Bankers Behind Bars