Breast Cancer, Shopping and Volunteering Come Full Circle
I want to share a story with you. This story happens to be one of my favorites as it relates to how all things are intertwined.
Just two years ago, I was perusing my daily search of BiddingForGood media mentions when I came across a blog called Pink Warrior Posterous. The author, Jan Allen, was a woman who was in the midst of a battle with breast cancer. She had written a post about how her husband, Scott had just given her a gift that he purchased on BiddingForGood. That gift, a trip to the American Music Awards with a VIP party, had two parts. One part was her wedding anniversary present. The other part was reaching the finish line to her radiation treatments. She finished her radiation in October 2010 and happily attended the America Music Awards the next month.
Since then, Jan has started to support the Susan G. Komen Foundation. In February of 2011, she went for her one year follow-up appointment and while she was waiting for her oncologist, she saw a flyer for Susan G. Komen. She read about all the money they had raised and about the 8 major recent developments in breast cancer research that they had funded. Out of the 8 developments, 6 of them had personally benefitted Jan. She thought, “I need to be doing this for people in the future.” That night she saw a commercial for the San Diego 3 Day Walk for a Cure (60 miles). She went on to raise $3,700 to participate and just one year from her battle, she crossed the 60 mile finish line. Part of her unique experience with the walk was that the route took her past her chemo center where she had done all her treatments. She told me that she “was walking for all the people inside.”
When I asked Jan if there was any advice she would give to women currently battling breast cancer, she said, “Try to keep a positive outlook and surround yourself with positive and supportive people.” She added, “Take this time to take care of you and make yourself a priority.” Women often forget (me included) that we can’t take care of anyone else properly if we don’t take care of ourselves. Jan says, “Always put your health first.”
Volunteering is important to Jan. She explains, “You never know when it is going to affect your family. Breast cancer crosses all cultural boundaries and there are communities that are in need of awareness.” Volunteering is not only important to Jan, but to her family as well. Her husband, Scott, attended the Susan G. Komen orientation so he too, could volunteer. Jan’s kids, Savannah, 16 and Zack, a freshman at Ohio University, will both be volunteering this summer for Susan G. Komen in the Santa Monica Office.
There are many ways to get involved with the Komen Foundation. One of them is by shopping on BiddingForGood in Komen’s online fundraising auctions. Jan and her husband Scott have been loyal customers of BiddingForGood for years and use it as a place to shop for unique gifts…like tickets to the American Music Awards. It is nice to see how much cross-over there is between our nonprofit clients, our customers and our socially responsible efforts.
This story has come full circle. And so has Jan. She is currently the Volunteer Orientation Chairperson at Susan G. Komen in Los Angeles.
If anyone would like to volunteer at Susan G. Komen or would like more info, please visit www.komen.org.