Alison Lukan heard it knocking on her door, but breast cancer did not hit home until eight years later. After her grandmother was burdened with breast cancer in 1991, Alison's mother received the same diagnosis in 1999.
"It still wasn't as close to me as it should have been when my grandmother found out," says Lukan, Race chair of the Komen Columbus Race for the Cure®. "Then it was, 'Mom is sick. There is nothing I can do.' When you can't take away her pain, you realize you have to channel your energies for fighting for the ones we've lost. I can't comprehend the pain of losing a mother. But I can't sit around and feel helpless either."
"I have no problem being pushy. It's my goal and my mission to now tell people to take care of their health and to own their health and beat this disease forever."
We are tremendously grateful that Alison knocked on our door when she began volunteering in 1999, shortly after hearing about her mother's diagnosis. Alison is now responsible for planning and executing the annual Komen Columbus Race for the Cure and its surrounding events. Being "pushy" has helped. The May 2007 event raised $2 million and had more than 37,000 participants.
Alison's mother is now an eight-year survivor and lives just outside Columbus in Dublin. Alison lives just a few minutes away with her husband Stephen. She also works as a management and strategic planning consultant.
A graduate of Richmond University, Alison began volunteering while living in Washington, D.C. She started her work with Komen Columbus upon moving to central Ohio in 2002.
"I kept sharing with these wonderful people that I had time to give," she says. "And luckily for me, they've been able to take advantage of that."