Coffee with Komen – 2019 Komen Central Indiana Ambassador class

One of my favorite things to do on a random afternoon is to catch a matinee and escape from the world for a couple of hours. Diving into a bucket of buttery popcorn, previewing the coming attractions, being transported to another time and place with fellow audience members by stories that make us laugh, cry or think differently than when we arrived – does it get much better?

As I write this article, it’s the day before the 91st Academy Awards. After reading the first paragraph, it likely won’t surprise you that I have seen six of the eight films nominated for Best Picture this year. My favorites among them include “Green Book,” “Vice” and “BlackkKlansman.”

You may be asking yourself why a “Coffee with Komen” article is discussing the movies. Great question. If you reflect on the three films I noted above, they share one important common characteristic – they are all based on true stories.

While fiction is fantastic, there is rarely a fictional story that tops someone’s true story. And while they may not all be classified as “movie worthy,” each of us has a unique story related to our own life experiences. I want to thank an exceptional group of people who are candidly sharing their stories to make a positive impact for others.

On February 4, the 2019 Komen Central Indiana Ambassador class came together for a meet and greet session. This year’s Ambassador group is comprised of 10 breast cancer survivors who are sharing their respective diagnosis and treatment journeys and emphasizing the importance of early detection as part of the 2019 Race for the Cure.

At the meet and greet session, each Ambassador shared her personal story, reflecting on the moment
of receiving her diagnosis news, the treatment that followed – and, in some instances, is still occurring – and what life has resembled since. Some members of this year’s class have family members who have had cancer, but several do not. It’s also important to note that several members of this year’s group were diagnosed n their 30’s as we continue to dispel some of the prevalent breast cancer myths and misconceptions around family history and age.

Since its establishment, the Komen Ambassador program has reached thousands of Hoosiers through radio, television and print interviews; community outreach initiatives; and public health events. The advent of social media is now taking these storytelling efforts to the next level as Ambassadors educate and empower their personal networks to engage in the fight against breast cancer. And don’t think being an Ambassador is simply a one-year commitment; members of this group continue to spread the word following their designated year. Once a Komen Ambassador, always a Komen Ambassador.

By encouraging others to know their risk, get screened, make healthy lifestyle choices and be their own health advocate, this group is communicating information that could literally save someone’s life. Is there a more meaningful story to tell?

Beyond the benefit they are providing to others in sharing their stories, members of each Ambassador class establish a bond and create new friendships with others who can relate to their experience. You can witness the power of this bond firsthand Saturday, April 27, by watching the 2019 Ambassadors and hundreds of additional women and men who come together to celebrate their survivorship by marching in the Pink Parade on the morning of the Race. It’s a sight worthy of a movie award for Most Courageous and Inspiring.