I’d been working at Breastcancer.org for about 2 weeks. It was my first assignment – do a video about Breastcancer.org and our girls’ prevention initiative.
We were doing the video shoot over the weekend at Lankenau Hospital outside of Philadelphia. We had set up interviews with a number of patients treated by Breastcancer.org founder and president Dr. Marisa Weiss.
I arrived early with the film crew – helping set up and greeting people as they came in. When Lori walked in, I walked toward her with a smile and my hand out. She opened her arms wide and hugged me as if we’d known each other all of our lives. She thanked me profusely for Breastcancer.org – a resource she said was so invaluable to her during her own breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Even though I told her I was new and had nothing to do with the programs and content, she insisted that being a part of Breastcancer.org was enough for her … and I guess marked me worthy of such a warm and generous greeting.
I realized in that moment that being a part of Breastcancer.org was going to be an entirely different experience. I knew intellectually that it would be rewarding. What I didn’t anticipate was the truly profound personal impact that Breastcancer.org has on people’s lives. And that I would be swept up in that journey.
Coming from the for-profit world, I’d never experienced first-hand the intense effect that health education and support can have. People certainly loved the products I helped market, but these products never touched peoples’ lives in the same emotional way …. a way that can inspire hope, understanding, and comfort.
Two years later (two action-packed, incredible years later), I’ve had countless other “Lori moments.” I’ve experienced the undeserving, open-armed gratitude from so many … for merely being connected to Breastcancer.org (I still have nothing to do with the content).
It will always be a privilege to directly cross paths with the people we serve. That our community can open up to us and make us all part of this journey is a rare gift that we all cherish.
And I’m amazed how often the Breastcancer.org community reaches back out to us – to thank us, to help us, to do whatever they can to help others affected by breast cancer. I can’t help but be personally inspired by the selflessness of our community as they deal with their own challenges, to be so resolved in thinking of others. Lori’s not alone!