Beyond Boobs! is one big happy family, but it is also a business. In addition to a host of amazing volunteers, BB! has been blessed with a group of talented, hardworking staff members who are truly the backbone of the organization. Because of their love and dedication, we are able to continue our mission of providing encouragement and support to young women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Staff members work behind the scenes to make sure all of our events run smoothly, and they take care of the millions of not-so-sexy, but just as valuable, details of running a business. Most important, they are there for our Boobers!, helping them live life with an exclamation point!
We share so much of our lives with our staff. Spending time with these amazing women and getting to know them and their families is a joy. And now it is our great privilege to introduce them to you. In the coming weeks, the blog will feature profiles of our staff members – the women behind the boobs.
Desiree Parker was a roving reporter for Williamsburg Yorktown Daily, an online news site, when she met Beyond Boobs! Cofounders Mary Beth Gibson and René Bowditch in 2008.
“They were so kind, loving, and open,” said Desiree. “I covered the group as part of my nonprofit beat for WY Daily and felt such a connection with them.”
Desiree also has a personal connection to the BB! mission. Her mom was diagnosed with two unrelated cancers – lung and breast. She passed away in 1997 from complications related to lung cancer, at the very beginning of Desiree’s freshman year at the College of William & Mary. Because of that, the work BB! does to support young women diagnosed with breast cancer and their families is especially close to Desiree’s heart.
When Desiree decided to take some time off from work in 2014, it felt only natural to volunteer with BB!, so she offered to write press releases for the organization. In June of 2015 she became a contract employee. “I got sucked in,” she said with a laugh.
In addition to writing press releases for BB!, Desiree also helps the group with their social media presence. She is on the ground floor of Pink Link, a social media site for breast cancer survivors that is part of the BB! family. “I handle administrative duties for Pink Link and I have also been working to get the new site up and running,” she explained.
Desiree loves the teamwork that comes with being a BB! staff member. “We are a small group and I feel like we all have lots of ownership in the organization,” she said “It’s not just Mary Beth’s baby, it’s everyone’s baby.
“Covering Beyond Boobs! as a reporter made me want to work with them,” she continued. “Working with a nonprofit is a good career path for your heart and your soul. I am exactly where I want to be and I am so happy this worked out.”
Desiree and her husband Gary have been married for 13 years and have a 12-year-old son, Alex. The family lives in Williamsburg. When Desiree isn’t working or watching her son play soccer, she enjoys writing fiction, doing yoga, and meditating.