The Tuesday after Thanksgiving will be the second annual #GivingTuesday, a national online initiative and day of giving back to charities, nonprofit organizations and important causes. Amy Lessack wrote this blog post on why she’s giving back to LBBC and why you should, too.
I recently learned about a national online initiative called #GivingTuesday and thought it was such a cool idea. The objective of the day is to have everyone everywhere donate or host charitable activities to benefit an organization of their choice the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Well, for me, the answer is easy: Yes, of course I will “Give on Tuesday” and…my organization of choice is Living Beyond Breast Cancer (LBBC)!
LBBC does amazing things for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and really for anyone who is impacted by the disease, including family members, friends, caregivers or healthcare providers. What makes LBBC a unique organization to gravitate to is the personal touch given by the staff and the services they offer. LBBC offers webinars, community meetings and face-to-face conferences, as well as the Breast Cancer Helpline, which is staffed by survivors who lovingly answer calls and help where they can by just listening, offering support and resources – instead of just relying on “Dr. Google.”
I was introduced to LBBC in 2002 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My family and I were desperate to find information that would educate us on what we needed to know as we navigated this new world. LBBC provided this information and more. Although I didn’t think I needed a support group, LBBC create a safe haven where I actually became a part of one due to my participation in their programs. Attending sessions in the beginning was a family affair, with my mom taking an active role and feeling very comfortable asking questions and participating when I was unable to do so, because the organization and the staff are so loving and welcoming. I had several big decisions to make in my treatment journey and my confidence in making them can be linked back to the specialists I heard from and met because of my LBBC affiliation.
Yoga is another surprise gift I can link back to LBBC. I am now a 10-year participant and fundraiser (go team “Thrivin’ and Survivin”!) for Yoga on the Steps, LBBC’s signature education and fundraising event, where I am thrilled to share that my co-captain, Jewel Ajibade, and I have raised a lot of money and awareness both in Philadelphia and in DC for LBBC—and really all over the country since we are lucky enough to have friends everywhere!
Although I volunteered here and there over the course of the years, I was finally able to participate in a big way by joining the board of directors in 2012! As a board member, I have had the opportunity to have a more intimate view of LBBC and how every dollar donated is utilized to create educational materials and learning opportunities, and to follow up-to-date research to empower women to have as much knowledge as possible to make the best decisions for their physical and emotional health. KNOWLEDGE IS POWER! I know that first-hand. It gave me the confidence to question my doctors, ask A LOT of questions, seek second opinions and make decisions that I knew at the time, and I know now for sure, were the right decisions!
Being a board member has given me the opportunity to shout from the roof tops: I love LBBC! It is an organization that quite simply has helped to save my life in so many ways. Between the educational opportunities (always current on what is new and using multiple delivery channels), the care of the staff, the opportunities to network and the friends that I have made are priceless! LBBC is the perfect organization for me because it is all about learning, growing and living well with my breast cancer diagnosis. It is also so great for my family because they can equally participate, learn and connect!
As part of our work on the board in the summer of 2013 we refreshed LBBC’s vision and mission. I am so proud of the thoughtful work we put forth to come up with a new vision and mission that makes us all proud and more determined than ever to meet and exceed!
Vision: A world where no one impacted by breast cancer feels uninformed or alone.
Mission: Connecting people to trusted breast cancer information and a community of support.
After reading my story and LBBC’s vision and mission – I hope you too will give to Living Beyond Breast Cancer on #GivingTuesday! And… more importantly, share my story and the website www.lbbc.org and the Breast Cancer Helpline Line # (888-753-LBBC ) to women and their families who need support!