Volunteer Spotlight: Katie Parker
Volunteers make the work the Living Beyond Breast Cancer staff does every day possible. From in-office support to event staffing and peer helpline calls, people like you help us strive toward our vision of a world where no one with breast cancer feels uninformed or alone.
To celebrate the people who devote so much of their time to LBBC’s programs and resources we’ve started Volunteer Spotlight, a series to share more about who they are and why they do what they do.
This month, we’re spotlighting volunteer Katie Parker, from Rapid City, South Dakota, a member of our Young Advocate program.
What’s your favorite thing about volunteering in your community?
I love connecting people with resources and information that they may not have known was available. Being informed and educated about your condition or interest is empowering. It also allows me to learn from others I meet and connects me to other wonderful people and organizations. Volunteering can help those going through cancer treatment heal and I participated in a poster session at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Scientist-Survivor program detailing those benefits.
What’s the most unique volunteer activity you’ve ever done?
I don't know how unique this is, but for the past few years, my oldest niece and I place flags at the grave markers at the national cemetery in the area I live on Memorial Day. It's a great way to honor those who gave all so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have in this country. A bonus is that it’s great exercise and an extra bonus to spend time with my niece.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself!
In 2011, I along with four other women, was selected to be in a national breast cancer awareness campaign called Pink Together through General Mills. My (our) photo appeared on the backs of cereal boxes such as Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Total and my individual picture appeared on Betty Crocker Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix and a variety of Chex Snack Mix. As part of the campaign, I got to go on a week-long, cross-country train tour with country singer Martina McBride.
When you’re not volunteering, what are people likely to find you doing?
In the past year, I learned that I love to be outside in a way other than sitting on the patio and enjoying a beverage! I love to hike and am fortunate to have many opportunities for great hiking adventures in the area that I live, such as hiking Black Elk Peak and the twice-yearly Crazy Horse Volksmarch, which is the most popular organized hike in the United States, to the top of the largest mountain carving in progress. I also got to go on a white water kayaking adventure in Oregon last year with an organization called First Descents. It was scary, but I loved being on the water and going over the rapids. I was so proud to have received the Narwhal of Grace award for my positive attitude as I battled motion sickness and happily wore my narwhal hat while cruising down the Rogue River.
Thank you to Katie Parker and all of our volunteers. If you would like to volunteer for LBBC, visit our page on volunteering.