Why I Volunteer for Komen St. Louis

Guest Writer: Kris Fleming, Komen St. Louis Volunteer

I began my involvement with Susan G. Komen St. Louis through my sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha.

ZTA has provided support for Komen since 1992, and is a sponsor of the Komen Race for the Cure® National Series Breast Cancer Survivor Recognition Program. Local ZTA alumnae and collegiate members have supported the Komen St. Louis Race from day one, and I have volunteered at every Race.

Kris Fleming has volunteered with Komen St. Louis since the inaugural Komen St. Louis Race in 1999

Kris Fleming has volunteered with Komen St. Louis since the inaugural Komen St. Louis Race in 1999

I have been a volunteer, committee chair and Race chair, and at every level, I’ve heard stories from so many people about how much Komen means to them.

When a woman is in tears because she is asking for a pink T-shirt for the first time, and you tell her how proud she must be to be a survivor… you know you are doing something good.

When working alongside another volunteer who mentions she’s a breast cancer survivor and has never told anyone, but seeing the sea of pink at the Race makes her realize that she does have a support system… you know you are doing something good.

When a woman is speechless as she is walking in the Race but wants someone to know how honored she is that thousands of participants are there to fight the disease she is also fighting… you know you are doing something good.

When your own family member is diagnosed with breast cancer at an early stage, thanks to a mammogram funded by money you helped raise… you know you are doing something good.

Even when a friend is battling metastatic breast cancer and is able to receive new treatments because of research Komen has funded… you know you are doing something good.

After you’ve been a volunteer for 14 years, your mom calls you when you’re on vacation to tell you she had her annual mammogram and they have found something, and you’re able to put her in touch with someone who helps her make the doctors’ appointments and supports her as she makes treatment decisions… you know you are doing something good.

For all these reasons and so many more, I continue to volunteer with Komen St. Louis and to support all this organization does to make the lives of women diagnosed with breast cancer better. I may have started off volunteering for a cause that I believe in, but until my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer it had never been this personal.

I volunteer because I have seen firsthand how the money raised by Komen supports so many women and families battling this disease. Komen is more than funding mammograms, education and research. Komen is also about giving women hope…hope that they can fight this disease and know they are not alone.

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