The staff here at Living Beyond Breast Cancer is excited to have many new faces and strong minds in the office, with a special appreciation going out to our interns. In this final installment of her three-part series, intern Judy Zwillenberg reflects on what she’s learned here at LBBC.
With my internship drawing to a close, I wanted to take some time to remark on the dedication of LBBC’s staff. I don’t think I’ll adequately be able to explain their passion for what they do, but I will try to convey to the readers some of what I have learned from them.
My supervisor suggested that I meet with many members of LBBC’s staff to find out about their careers and why they chose LBBC and non-profit work. As expected, these meetings not only provided me with helpful advice for my future, but also allowed me to see LBBC from the eyes of those instrumental in its success.
For many members of LBBC’s team, working at a breast cancer nonprofit was not a normal step in the progression of their careers, and several even had jobs outside of the health field. Furthermore, some of the staff had no personal connection to breast cancer prior to their employment at LBBC. Nevertheless, through working at LBBC, they have found jobs they feel are worthwhile and important. And, for those whose lives were affected by breast cancer, whether through their own diagnosis or that of someone close to them, LBBC provides an outlet to better the lives of other women coping with the disease. By navigating women through diagnoses, treatments, and concerns after cancer, they feel that they are “working for a reason” and find meaning in what they do.
After interning at LBBC’s office for the summer, it has become clear to me that LBBC truly is a unique organization. LBBC genuinely cares about women with breast cancer. It is a place where all women of different ages, breast cancer stages, and races are welcome, and receive individualized care and support. For every issue or question, LBBC is available with expert programming, conferences, and access to other survivors who have been in the same situation. LBBC ensures that women’s concerns are addressed in a respectful way, and works hard to give women tailored information in the hopes of making their breast cancer struggle less difficult.
Importantly, every member of the staff fully believes in the mission statement of the organization: to empower all women affected by breast cancer to live as long as possible with the best quality of life. In my opinion, this is what makes LBBC such an accomplished non-profit. Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s commitment to its mission statement guarantees LBBC is sensitive to women’s needs, and provides high-quality resources that are informative and helpful. It doesn’t force any ideas or materials upon women, but simply gives them tools to make the decisions that are right for them. As one member of the staff said, “It’s not what we say, but how we say it.” Finally, since LBBC is so dedicated to its cause, it makes certain that the purpose of the organization is to help; it’s not about personal gain or bolstering the image of LBBC.
This summer, I have learned a lot through helping on many projects for the Education department. I feel privileged to have been a part of LBBC’s devoted team. I want to thank everyone at LBBC for making this internship a positive experience for me, and I look forward to seeing LBBC’s future achievements.
Judy is a rising sophomore at Cornell University as a Biology and Society major.You can find more information about LBBC’s educational and support programs at the Living Beyond Breast Cancer website. We want to thank Judy for all of her hard work this summer.