Editor’s Note: This post was written by NBCF Programs Coordinator, Cinthia Gonzalez.
Every year National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) partners with Convoy of Hope to provide breast cancer education and early detection services to over 10,000 women at community outreaches across the country. These events take place in both urban and rural communities, serving women and families in need. For many of these women, it’s the first time they’ve been empowered to take charge of their breast health.
This summer I had the privilege of serving at one of these events alongside 56 NBCF volunteers. These were some of the most encouraging and dedicated women I have ever met. The event took place in Chicago on what must have been one of the rainiest days of the year. As rain began to pour and mud started to form around the NBCF tent and entryways, the unplanned weather only fueled the volunteers’ passion even more. They were committed to reaching as many women as possible.
Most of the women that attend these outreaches come on a mission to leave with a new pair of shoes for their children or a bag full of groceries; they don’t come thinking of themselves. That is where the NBCF team comes in. We remind them just how important they are and equip them with the tools they need to be proactive about their health. Many volunteers who help us are breast cancer survivors who know the importance of early detection and are eager to share their story.
One of those volunteers is Kim Wurtz. Kim volunteered at the Worcester, Massachusetts outreach event earlier this year. She was diagnosed with breast cancer on November 2014 and underwent a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Kim remembers her experience with breast cancer as “a journey with a lot of hills and valleys,” but says the love and support of her loved ones carried her to healing. “I volunteered with Convoy of Hope because I felt so lucky to have survived breast cancer with the support of family and friends. I just wanted to pass it forward and help someone else,” she said.
Kim shared, “I will always see the good in situations because, after all, I am here to see them!” Like Kim, many of the NBCF volunteers that serve in the breast health tent are inspired to give back because they have a story to tell. They are breast cancer survivors, family members and friends of a patient or survivor, or supporters of early detection. Devoting an entire Saturday, in addition to the hours of training and preparation beforehand, is a way to give back.
Without these volunteers, NBCF would not be able to share hope with thousands of women in need. Our mission is to provide help and inspire hope to those affected by breast cancer, and our volunteers are the hands and feet that allow us to do this. On behalf of the entire NBCF team, we want to express our gratitude and appreciation for our volunteers. Thank you for joining us in Helping Women Now!
To find out how you can help educate women in your community, please contact our NBCF volunteer team at [email protected].