Like many who volunteer for the organization, BC Bland became involved with Susan G. Komen Northwest NC after losing a dear friend to breast cancer: “My friend Melody Morris passed away in 2006 after a 15-year battle with breast cancer. She was such an amazing person, a teacher who touched so many lives. She always made me see the good in every bad situation.”
BC – a claims resolution professional here at BCBSNC – began volunteering for Komen shortly after Melody’s passing, giving about 800 hours of her time each year since 2007. To get an idea of just how many hours that is, consider that it’s roughly equivalent to the total time school children spend in the classroom each year in much of the United States.
But BC doesn’t see volunteering as any great burden: “I’ve never looked at it in that sense.”
In fact, her commitment to eradicating breast cancer is a service to herself in addition to others. “Volunteering at Komen gives me perspective on life,” she says. “Sometimes all a person really needs is someone to listen to them, or a hug when they’re feeling defeated. It’s so rewarding to have someone say, ‘Thank you. That made my day.’”
Now, as part of BCBSNC’s Month of Thanks 2014, BC’s service to Susan G. Komen Northwest NC in Winston-Salem has resulted in a different sort of reward. To recognize BC’s dedicated volunteering, BCBSNC named her a Community Champion and surprised her with a donation of $5,000 to the agency in BC’s name. She’s thrilled to know how much of an impact that money will have on her community.
“I feel so humbled,” says BC. “It’s amazing to know that 50 women who may not have been able to get a mammogram will now be able to.”
BC wants other potential volunteers to know just how fulfilling the experience can be. “As many times as I’ve watched the Parade of Pink at the end of the Race for the Cure,” she says, “there is nothing in this world more uplifting than watching 1,000 women and men march in. Those survivors and co-survivors are incredible people and their stories are so inspiring.”
BC will continue to assist with planning Breast Cancer Awareness Month events each October, making arrangements for the Race for the Cure, recruiting and organizing volunteers and speaking to school groups on behalf of Susan G. Komen Northwest NC.
And she’ll continue to honor the memory of her friend Melody: “Her zest for life was infectious.”
And so is yours, BC.