• Not Just a Job, but a Mission

    Personal Stories


    Many people choose a job or choose a profession. Yet because of life’s circumstances, many of the people who work at Susan G. Komen feel that the job has chosen them. It’s not about the paycheck. It’s not about a job. It’s a passion. It’s a mission.  We come to work every day because 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her life time. This disease has taken our friends and loved ones and we are tired of it.  We come to work every day to find a cure.

    We asked several of our colleagues to talk to us about who they are working for.  Here are a few of those conversations:

    Carrie Hodges is Komen’s Sr. Director for Account Strategy & Stewardship and has worked for the organization for almost 14 years.  When asked why she chose to work for Komen she said, “My introduction to Susan G. Komen started when I was in college and volunteered for the organization through my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha. After a series of fateful events that led me to a career in non-profits AND a move to Dallas, I knew there was no place I’d rather work than at Susan G. Komen. I believe so strongly in our mission and absolutely love the people and partners I get to work with every day. And pink is definitely my signature color, so I will never tire of wearing it!”  When asked what motivates her to come to work every day Carrie went on to say that it’s “the people we serve, the knowledge that if we can continue to raise more funds for our mission that more lives will be saved sooner – that, and my fabulous coworkers.”

    Carrie works each day for her one, her friend Sabrina who died in 2014.  While Sabrina is the first person that comes to her mind, there are many more incredible people that she has met in her nearly 14 years at Komen. Their stories motivate her to work harder, to keep walking and raising money through the 3-Day® , and she admires them for their strength and courage.

    Shay Werkman is a Program Manager with Komen’s Cause Marketing and Sponsorship team. She’s been with Komen for two and a half years.  “Throughout my four years as a collegiate soccer player, my favorite game of the season was our ‘Pink Night’ each October. We made pink T-shirts that we sold across campus to fundraise for the local Komen affiliate in Iowa.  In the locker room before this game each year we would write the name of a friend or family member that had been touched by breast cancer to celebrate and remember each person and play in their honor. It still gives me goosebumps to this day thinking about that special tradition.  When I got the opportunity to work for Komen several years later, it was one that I couldn’t pass up. It means the world to me to come to work every day fighting for the same men and women I wrote on my wrist years ago.”  

    When asked what motivates her to come to work each day, Shay responded: “The fact that my job is much bigger than myself. I get to come to work each day for a bigger purpose – which hopefully one day will lead to a world without breast cancer.”  Since several people in her life have fought breast cancer, she can’t choose her specific one. She says, “It saddens me that this disease affects not only one, but many people that I know and love.”

    Susan Brown is the Sr. Director, Education & Patient Support and has been with Komen for 18 years. When asked why she came to work at Komen, Susan replied, “Because people are still dying from breast cancer.  There is still more work to do.  And I want to do something.” Her answer about what motivates her to come to work each day is that “The idea that what I do or say may have a positive impact- might make a difference - to someone who has breast cancer, who knows someone with breast cancer or is afraid they will get breast cancer themselves.”    

    Susan’s one is actually more than one! Unfortunately, Susan’s life has been touched by breast cancer more than once.  Susan works for her cousin who was diagnosed when she was in her early 40’s and lost her life within a year. She was the mother of eight children.  She also works for her mom who was diagnosed when Susan was all grown up and a mom herself.

    When asked if there was anything she would like to remind people, Susan said, “People don’t know what they don’t know about breast cancer.  I work to change that and to help them learn what they do need to know.”

    These three are just a few of the many people across the organization who are working every day to save lives with their own personal reason for being here. We each have that one person or that one reason we come to work each and every day. We want to make a difference. We want to end breast cancer. Who’s your one?  

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