My Story: Recognizing Our National Volunteers

Insight Articles
June 13, 2017
By: 
Erin Rowley, Writer and Content Coordinator

We are pleased to announce this year’s Living Beyond Breast Cancer Volunteer Award recipients. These awardees have gone above and beyond for LBBC, and we are proud to honor them.

 

Michelle Baldino

The Ann Klein Volunteer Award
Somerdale, New Jersey

“I started volunteering for LBBC as soon as I attended my first Yoga on the Steps [now called Reach & Raise] in Philadelphia in 2012. I was beginning treatment for my second bout with breast cancer. It was a way for me to stay connected to other breast cancer survivors who understood what I was going through. It also offered me the opportunity to support them where I could. LBBC offers a multifaceted support system, including the Breast Cancer Helpline, Reach & Raise, and many informative webinars, conferences and outreach programs that help unite and inform breast cancer survivors and their families. For me, it’s been a blessing to have this positive outlet that encourages me to move on and live ‘beyond’ breast cancer.”

 

 

Mary Jennings Smith

The Lee Plamondon Volunteer Award
San Marcos, California

“I love volunteering as it melds nicely with my counseling background. But, more than that, I want to give back because I was supported so much by my friends and colleagues through the initial diagnosis and treatment, and I continue to get support as I work my way through the metastatic world now.”

 


Laura Ross

The Lee Plamondon Volunteer Award
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“It is very important for me to volunteer at Living Beyond Breast Cancer because after going through my breast cancer journey alone, I found LBBC and they made me realize that I was not alone. They validated that all I was feeling was completely normal. I only wish I had found them when I was first diagnosed. I went through all the decision making about my diagnosis, treatment and surgery alone, without realizing there was a whole world of survivors out there that could have given me strength and comfort. It is so important for breast cancer survivors to feel supported and comforted. It is rewarding to me to be the person who can help another woman (or caretaker) in their time of crisis and need — to listen and support them, help them get through the day, and validate their feelings.”  



CalExotics

The Paula A. Seidman Volunteer Award

“CalExotics, the world’s leading manufacturer of adult toys and novelties, is a woman-owned company, and we’ve fought for many years to support women’s rights. One of our biggest concerns is improving women’s health. We want to align ourselves with partners who share our passion and are working hard to change the world. We are so excited to be able to design and produce products, such as the Inspire line, which benefits LBBC, that improve women’s sexual health and wellness. LBBC is focused on supporting those in need, and we are truly amazed by their work. It is an honor to have been their partner for over 10 years, and I am hopeful for what the future holds for both organizations.”

—Susan Colvin, Founder and CEO of CalExotics



Bringing Hope Home

The Community Vision Award
Wayne, Pennsylvania

“At Bringing Hope Home, our goal is to help all types of families that are battling all types of cancer. Through the Cis B. Golder Quality of Life Grant and our ongoing partnership with Living Beyond Breast Cancer, we are able to extend our reach to help families that are battling breast cancer. Bringing Hope Home relies on the generosity of our volunteers, donors and partners to fulfill our mission of providing ‘Unexpected Amazingness to Families’ through financial and emotional support. When we started Bringing Hope Home, I knew there was a need for our organization, but I never imagined how big our family would grow. We are truly blessed by the relationships and friendships we have made along the way.”

— Paul Isenberg, Founder and CEO of Bringing Hope Home

 

Hyneefah Singleton

The Community Advocate Award
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“Volunteering for LBBC is important to me because I’m a cancer survivor living with stage IV metastatic breast cancer that spread to my bones, liver and lungs. I want to make a difference in the fight against breast cancer. When I was first diagnosed, I felt lonely and isolated from the world. I decided to apply for LBBC’s Young Advocate program and was accepted. I was so excited! LBBC trained me to support and speak in favor of breast cancer awareness and research, support legislation that helps me and others, and speak about issues that affect the cancer community. LBBC helps me make a difference in someone else’s life, makes me feel good, keeps me aware and educated, helps me build new friendships and widen my support network, and gives me the opportunity to share the information with my community.”

 

Debi Evans

The Caregiver Award
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

“I started volunteering about 5-and-a-half years ago, after my sister who had stage IV metastatic breast cancer died. I was her caretaker along with my mom who is a 24-year triple-negative survivor. I had been trying to volunteer before that but as my sister’s disease
progressed, I didn’t get the chance.

Volunteering with LBBC is like helping my family. The staff has been so warm and encouraging. Every person I have met at LBBC is like a shining star: The compassion that they show to the breast cancer community and volunteers is outstanding. They make you feel like you belong and that without your help their goals couldn’t be accomplished.”   

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