Giving back to the community has always been important to me. Growing up, I was very close to my grandmother, a breast cancer survivor. When she moved into a retirement center, I loved visiting her and socializing with the other residents. I was inspired to start volunteering at a nursing home because of this and immediately took to the residents. I continued this community service in college, where I served as the philanthropy chair for Greek life at Bradley University. I was able to organize various service projects around campus while I pursued my Bachelor in Social Work. After receiving my Master in Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis and becoming licensed I became a hospital social worker.
In my position as an oncology social worker, I had the opportunity to help an individual diagnosed with cancer. After talking with this person, I discovered she had a passion for singing. I was able to grant her wish to record a CD and receive a makeover for her birthday. I saw the positive impact her community had by showing support during her healing. Seeing her filled with hope inspired me to encourage others facing a diagnosis of cancer. I noticed many others who lacked adequate support systems due to their age or geographical barriers from family. I want them to know they are not facing this battle alone. We can join together to lift spirits of those affected by this disease and encourage hope for the future!