Helping a Friend Turned Into Helping All Women in Dane County Affected by Breast Cancer

Deb Kusmec was not the one in 8 women affected by breast cancer; her friend Lisa was. And while she initially felt powerless to help her friend, Lisa suggested she volunteer on the Champions Campaign for Breast Cancer Recovery and after one day with the group Kusmec was hooked.

            Kusmec’s notes coordinating the Infinite Boundaries as her favorite portion in volunteering for BCR. “It helps breast cancer survivors rediscover their strengths, allowing them to take the next steps in their journey of recovery.” Kusmec believes this is an important step for women to be able to return to their families and lives with a fulfilled spirit.

            Staffing the Infinite Boundaries retreat remains the most cherished position for Kusmec. Giving breast cancer survivors the opportunity to heal in mind, body and spirit, Kusmec believes BCR invigorates these women to come back to the community with an enlivened sense of purpose. “It is incredible to see the transformation these women make from the time they walk in the door of a retreat to when they return home, it’s magic!” Despite never suffering from breast cancer herself, Kusmec witnessed the enormous benefit the retreats had for Lisa.

When Kusmec saw firsthand how the Infinite Boundaries Retreat magically renewed her friend, she wanted to give all women affected by breast cancer that opportunity. Although her current work focuses on these retreats, she did not start out volunteering on this project when her involvement at BCR began in 2007. She first worked on establishing an endowment fund for the organization which led to a life-long relationship with the organization.

            Kusmec has taken on many other responsibilities since beginning her journey with BCR in 2007.  She joined the board in 2008, where she coordinated a yoga fundraising event and worked as a member of the funding development committee. Most recently, Kusmec was named the board chair in November of 2011. In this position, she helps with strategic planning and works closely with the executive director. Her current focus is on the promoting the annual Party on the Lake, BCR’s signature fundraising event. The event raises funds for the Infinite Boundaries retreats, and provides an opportunity for more people to become aware of the program and the work BCR does.

            The chances of someone you know being impacted by breast cancer are considerably high, but you can help. Breast Cancer Recovery uses the talents and generosity of women like Kusmec to make a difference in the lives of breast cancer survivors. Kusmec urges all to become involved at BCR to help not just the survivors, but the community of Madison as a whole. “Any time you step outside of yourself and so something for someone else, especially someone facing a life threatening disease, you have an impact that goes beyond what you might have imagined. You not only help the individual facing this disease, you help their families and communities.”

Breast Cancer Recovery's annual Party on the Lake is on Monday, June 4th at  Bishops Bay Country Club from 5:30-9pm. Find out more about the event and the organization at bcrecovery.org.

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