When I volunteered on the auction committee for the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic in 1996, little did I know that I would still be involved nine years later. At the time, I was busy with my husband, three children and home. I thought it would be a short term commitment and a fun event.
But the first year was so successful and enjoyable that I signed on for another year. Then in 1998, my sister Kay was diagnosed with breast cancer and my reasons for volunteering became personal. Kay endured a mastectomy and other surgeries and is now cancer free and a five-year survivor. The next year, my close friend, Sue Snyder, was diagnosed with brain cancer. She is receiving experimental cancer therapy at Duke and is surviving long past her initial two year prognosis.
With every year that passes, it seems like someone I know is fighting cancer. My husband’s aunt battled and lost to breast and bone cancer, my sister-in-law and my cousin are fighting breast cancer, and many other relatives and friends are dealing with this disease that just won’t quit.
The importance of raising money for cancer research has my full attention now. Each year the name of a friend or loved one is on my mind as I prepare and organize the auction. Each year I think of the dollars raised in terms of how many cancer researchers can be funded.
I am now the chairman of the auction. With the help of co-chair, Cheryl Russell and a dedicated committee, we stage an amazing auction every year. We work almost year-round to accomplish this and have raised a tremendous amount of money.
I am constantly inspired and energized by the dedicated people who work in this organization. I am captivated by the stories of the people who donate to our auction, of the people with cancer, of the people who have lost loved ones, and of others who knew Jim Valvano and were touched by his amazing attitude.
I support the V Foundation because of these people. Pam Valvano always says that when a cure is found, we will have a huge party. When that day comes, I will be there with the hundreds of other volunteers who commit themselves to this cause.
Susan Weiss and her family have lived in Raleigh for 12 years. She is married to Brian Weiss, Emergency Department physician at Raleigh’s Rex Hospital. They have three children, Laura 18, Erin 16, and Jack 11.
Susan graduated from Virginia Tech with a B.A.Ed. in Social Sciences and works part time as a substitute teacher for Wake County Public Schools. She is an active PTA member at her children’s schools as well as a volunteer for the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic.