By Molly Fast
Last week I had the great pleasure of attending the Susan G. Komen® Leadership Conference in Fort Worth, Texas along with my friend and co-worker Gayla. This leadership conference is a chance for Komen Affiliates, headquarters’ staff, and Komen Scholars (an advisory group of scientists, researchers and doctors who help to guide Komen’s research and scientific programs, education and advocacy work, and public health efforts in the U.S. and abroad) to come together for inspiration, motivation and understanding of organization-wide initiatives in the fight against breast cancer.
The conference was an opportunity to hear a recap of the progress made throughout the last year and to learn about the vision ahead. Peppered throughout were mission moments (the tissues strategically placed under every few chairs were not only a really nice touch, but incredibly necessary) and lots of education – how to talk about Komen and understanding where the dollars are going.
My first morning at KLC was kicked off listening to a breast cancer survivor, Heidi, speak about her experience and how Komen played a vital role in connecting her with her own personal hero – Dr. George Sledge, one of Komen’s Chief Scientific Advisors. I couldn’t help but think of my friend and co-worker, Bridget Spence, who four years earlier was the keynote survivor speaker. Sadly, Bridget passed away nearly a year after her speech at KLC. But I felt her all throughout the conference, and to be honest, every day in my work with the Komen 3-Day series. I could never forget about her.
One of the highlights of the conference was when I got to hear four different Komen Scholars speak about their work – work which would not be possible without a Komen-funded grant – and the impact they’re having on making big strides and important learnings in the fight against breast cancer. I sat in the room spellbound and it was impossible to keep the tears at bay when each doctor got emotional while thanking every person in the room for the work they’re doing, because without it, their research would not happen.
As I left the conference, I was reminded of something Heidi said, “What if there’s just one person who can be helped by what you’re doing?” I walked away feeling energized by the incredible people I was surrounded by, motivated by the goals that have been set forth and grateful for the opportunity to work with a client that is committed to leading the charge to save lives and end breast cancer forever. But more than that, I left with a greater understanding of how much of an impact we all can make in just one person’s life.
I’m committed to doing my part to help Komen continue to make the biggest impact in the breast cancer space. And I can’t wait to return to the Komen Leadership Conference in 2017 where I can be inspired and motivated all over again.
Molly Fast co-leads the company’s local operations for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day series and is privileged to work with Event 360’s participant-facing team. For over a decade, Molly has been fortunate enough to combine her love of people with the ability to make a difference in the work she does focusing on exceeding expectations and delighting participants along the way. When not roaming around Ireland, Molly can be found taking photos or talking to strangers in Santa Monica where she lives with her husband and their black lab, Clancy. You can find Molly on Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn and her favorite social media tool, Instagram.