My involvement with the Komen Shreveport-Bossier City Affiliate began with a simple request from a business acquaintance, Beth King (now our current board president), to be in charge of a new idea she had for the Komen Race for the Cure®— a Memory Board/Honor Board to celebrate survivors and those who had passed. I was diagnosed in October 2000, and Beth approached me in time for the 2001 Race. As I knew nothing about the Komen organization, Beth took the time to "Komenize" me. The first Race meeting I attended, overseen by our former president, Penny Durham, was a jumble to me. I was glad I had just my one little piece to take care of and that I was able to participate in the actual Race.
As the years passed, I assumed more responsibility and was asked to join the board in 2004. I have been the volunteer coordinator for the past two years and have met many wonderful people who want to serve for the cause. But my passion is, of course, to find the cure. As the mother of three grown daughters and the grandmother of five, I have a vested interest in supporting the research that will alleviate this disease.
I could not have gone through the surgery, the chemo and all that goes along with the disease without my husband, my co-survivor. Ted has been a strong supporter of the Race, serving as Race site setup chair in 2006. My oldest daughter, who lives in Atlanta, raised over $4,000 for that Race in 2006, while my daughter in Shreveport continues to volunteer for the Race. This cause has become a personal commitment to each of us.
I will be moving into the president's role in 2007. As I think about what I want to accomplish during my term, one goal is to expand the reach of our local Affiliate. This can't be done without volunteers—the lifeblood of the Komen organization. There are so many women and men who have served this Affiliate since its inception, as a small Race with a few people 13 years ago to a Race with 5,000 participants in 2006. We are growing as an Affiliate, and we are always looking for those volunteers who wish to make a personal commitment to this cause.
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"I'll do whatever it takes to keep fighting." - Kathleen