My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Living Beyond Breast Cancer, Haverford, PA, USA
In February of 1996, my husband at the time underwent triple by-pass surgery @ Jefferson Hospital. While he was recuperating, I went for my baseline and was informed that same evening that there may be a problem. On March 27, 1996, I underwent a mastectomy & the beginning stages of reconstruction also at Jefferson Hospital. Our daughter, Alison, was 5 at the time.
At some point during my recovery, someone told me about LBBC and I started going to their "Young Survivors" meetings, which at that time were hel at the Narberth Fire Station. The crowd was small and the surroundings were a little bleak. In the meantime, I started to volunteer for LBBC in their office in Narberth. My first event was at the King of Prussia Mall, which was an art exhibit having to do with women affected by breast cancer. That led me to help with many more functions. One of my favorites was calling area florists & asking them if they would donate a centerpiece for our upcoming annual gala which was held at the Crystal Tea Room that year. What a pleasant surprise when each & every one I called said absolutely yes they would and beautiful the room looked with an array of gorgeous flowers that were donated to such a great cause.
Aside from volunteering for LBBC and after discussing how we could make the Young Survivor's meetings more attractive, I asked what they thought of the my hosting the meeting at my house, which at the time was in Lafayette Hill. We decided to make it a Pot Luck supper with a guest speaker for each meeting, which was held every 6 weeks or so. I can tell you that my home was filled with women from their early twenties to I think the cut-off age at that time for a "Young" survivor was maybe 40ish. It gave me such joy to open up my home to these women who were all going through the same ordeal. Many friendships were formed, tears cried, information gained and just a forum where they could experience the joy & pain of others.
As you may know, at the annual Gala each year, four women are chosen to be honorees and I did get a phone call I think in 2001 with the news that I was chosen for the upcoming gala to be one of those women. What an honor and a privilege. During this time, my marriage was ending and it was a difficult time, but just like breast cancer, I got through it. The Gala night came and my family & friends were all there along with my daughter, who was 10 at the time. I didn't have thank you speech prepared, but Alison told me, "Mom, just wing it" and that's what I did. What an honor!
So, 15 years later, I am cancer free and my life has changed in some ways, but will never forget my time spent with the wonderful people at LBBC and the wonderful experiences I enjoyed being a part of such an exceptional organizaiton.
Would you volunteer for this group again?
For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?
Did the organization use your time wisely?
Would you recommend this group to a friend?
Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)
Absolutely. I met new friends, I felt as though I helped young women by opening up my home for the Young Survivor's Meetings, and by putting myself out there saying I had breast cancer and I made it through, maybe it helped someone else going through the same.
When was your last experience with this nonprofit?