Why I’m Volunteering at the V Foundation
Like most of us, I have seen cancer rear its ugly head on too many people I know and love. Co-workers, classmates, friends and family, including my aunt whose name I share. Like many, I have tried to find ways to help end this dreaded disease. I’ve participated in walks and runs and contributed through the Combined Federal Campaign at my job to raise money to fight cancer. None of this has compared to the joy I feel when I walk through the doors of the V Foundation for Cancer Research.
I promised myself that whatever I did in my next phase of life, it would be meaningful not only to me, but to others as well.
After 22 years, I am blessed to have been able to retire as a Federal Law Enforcement agent. I had a wonderful career that I wouldn’t trade for anything. But since I’m still “young” (Well, it depends on your perspective—I choose to see myself as young!), I was not ready to spend my days eating bonbons and watching soap operas. But I promised myself that whatever I did in my next phase of life, it would be meaningful not only to me, but to others as well.
I have been a fan of Jim Valvano for many years. I was a student at Duke University when he began coaching basketball at NC State University. I was in Durham when the “Cardiac Pack” won the NCAA tournament. Although I couldn’t outwardly cheer—after all, I am a Blue Devil through and through—I was proud of the team a little way down Tobacco Road. I, too, laughed and cried when Coach Valvano gave his powerful speech at the ESPYs. And I thought, “How could I make a difference?”
Being a huge sports fan and an ESPN junkie, I was familiar with the V Foundation. When my husband and I moved to North Carolina, I thought, “I should volunteer at the V Foundation.” Well, between setting up my new home, getting use to my new environment, and yes, sleeping in and watching soap operas (I did stay away from the bonbons.), I procrastinated doing anything, let alone volunteering.
Unfortunately, it took another loss to jolt me into action. A classmate from Duke lost his battle to cancer. After I got the call, I immediately went online to look up the phone number to the V Foundation to find out how I could help. A delightful young lady (I won’t give out your name, Kat) answered the phone and invited me to come and help her.
Although we didn’t go through official channels to get me here (It’s a funny story I will have to share with you one day!), I’m here and have been made to feel like a part of the V Foundation family. And what a family it is! I don’t think I have ever been around a group of people who were so passionate about the mission of their organization. It’s not just about a 9 to 5 here; it’s about saving lives. I am so honored to be associated with the V Foundation and to be able to play a small role in its fight to find a cure for cancer.