Desiree Parker is our Pink Link Program Manager. Here’s why she’s “Here for the Girls”:
Years ago, I had a job where I didn’t feel like I was making that much of a difference to anyone, even though I wanted to. If you think about it, your job is often where you expend the most effort (aside from what you do for your family), and I wanted to do something with my life that was useful and meaningful. I volunteered for Here for the Girls back when it was just Beyond Boobs!, and I loved what I did there. When I got the chance to work for the organization, I was thrilled to become part of the team!
Cancer has touched my life – as it has for many others. My mother had lung cancer when I was a teenager that ultimately metastasized and caused her death. She also had an early-stage primary breast cancer after her lung cancer diagnosis (it’s unusual for someone to have two primary cancers, especially when they occur close together) which was treated with a lumpectomy. After she died, I felt guilty because I didn’t think that (as a somewhat self-absorbed teen) I had done all I could to be there for her after she was diagnosed and through the five years until she passed away. (The photo is of me when I was little, sitting next to my mom).
I’ve come to realize over the years that we all handle tough situations like the death of a loved one in different ways at different times in our lives; we simply do what we can based on where we are emotionally. It makes me happy that now, as an adult and as a mother myself, I have a chance to work on behalf of women who are dealing with life after a breast cancer diagnosis. I’m glad to be a part of offering them a network of love and support. Many of the women we serve have happy outcomes, though some do not – but the important thing (to me) is to make sure they all have support at every phase of their treatment and beyond. You can face so much more in life when you have a hand to hold. That’s why I’m Here for the Girls!