We would like to introduce Amanda Greene, our newest member and Director of Development! This week, we are sharing her story. Read on to learn how Amanda became involved with B4BC and why It’s Personsal.
I’ll never forget the day breast cancer became personal to me. I came home to my husband, Josh, sitting in the ugly, hand-me-down recliner his grandma gave him. He was as white as a ghost, staring straight ahead- and I could tell something was wrong. I dropped my bags and asked him if he was okay. He paused for a moment and looked at me with tears in his eyes; “my mom” he choked, “my mom has breast cancer.” I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. I froze, and then I felt nauseous; questions of what to say ran through my head. I was just finishing up college and at 22, never really thought much about breast cancer; how would I comfort him? I didn’t know anything about this disease.
It was all very surreal, and sometimes I feel like it was all a bad dream. Fortunately for Donna, it was caught very early, during her regular mammogram. She endured a lumpectomy and radiation like a champ; the only time I ever heard her mention any pain was when directly asked. She handled the situation with such bravery and kept positive about her treatment, reminding us that there are others out there who have it far worse. I’m sure she was terrified, but she didn’t let on. I am very happy to report that she remains cancer free, with her fantastic attitude intact!
Inspired by his mom’s experience with the disease, Josh became involved with Boarding For Breast Cancer. At the time, he ran a snowboard shop in Rochester, NY, called the Lounge. He reached out to B4BC about holding a video premier and board-a-thon to benefit the organization, and so began our friendship with the wonderful ladies of B4BC. I first met B4BC’s Outreach Director Blair Young, at Josh’s inaugural event; she was actually a volunteer at the time, flying all the way from Los Angeles to be on site at the outreach booth. She glowed with such positivity and passion for the cause, that I was moved to volunteer with B4BC as well. I even took it a step further and went back to school to receive a Master’s degree in nonprofit management. If a volunteer was willing to head cross-country for this cause, then I was determined to be a part of it too! Over time, I was asked to become the regional ambassador for the north east and have enjoyed becoming further involved with their mission to increase awareness about breast cancer, the importance of early detection and the value of an active lifestyle.
Over the past seven years as a B4BC volunteer, I learned just how personal it was for others in my life. A dear friend of ours lost his wife after a long, courageous battle with the disease. Another dear friend, who lost her mother to breast cancer at a young age, recently had a scare of her own. Barely in her 30’s, she already knows what it’s like to have a mammogram and a biopsy. She pays careful attention to her health, embodying the spirit of living a healthy, active lifestyle as the best means of prevention, because she refuses to let breast cancer find her without putting up a good fight. And I adore her for that.
I wish I could say there was one big lesson to take away from all of this. The hard part about cancer is that the outcome can be dramatically different for each person; I’ve mourned those we’ve lost to the disease, and I’ve celebrated with those who have overcome it. What I know for sure is this; I am going to do my darndest to help others stack the deck against breast cancer by educating them about methods for prevention and teaching positive health practices. We can’t win ‘em all, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try!