No matter where you go or what you do lately, it seems you can’t escape cancer. It’s everywhere you turn. Whether directly or indirectly, everyone knows someone who has been impacted by this vicious disease in one way or another. Some win their battles while others are defeated. I am no different. And so, begins my journey to getting involved with Club Red.
Over the years, I would find ways to do my part in supporting others battling cancer whether that was taking part in walks or organizing fundraising events. At the time I knew I was doing what I could to give back and help others, but I felt unfulfilled by my efforts. There had to be more I could do.
While I was never going to find the cure or be part of a medical team that could help ease others’ pain, I was searching for how to make an impact. I struggled that the funds I was helping to raise weren’t staying local. Cancer is local. It’s parents, family members, neighbors, and so many more that we meet on a daily basis. As I began to build my career in the Madison area, I knew I needed to find a purpose beyond work. “What could that be? How can I do more?” I continued to ask myself.
I had heard of Gilda’s Club and knew enough to know that they were a good organization helping those battling cancer. What I didn’t realize was the full breadth of their support. It was during a conversation with a close mentor of mine that I learned of an opportunity that I thought I would be lucky to even be considered for. Club Red had open spots and they were looking for individuals to join in the fight against this disease. I jumped at the chance and after two conversations and a meeting later, here I am!
Club Red is made up of local professionals representing all types of industries. Our main goal is to promote awareness and bring attention to Gilda’s Club by fundraising and organizing events. The unique thing about this group is that we all bring different strengths to the table and can craft our own experience. The diversity in the group allows us to facilitate effective fundraising while also providing Gilda’s Club members with entertaining events to distract from the daily challenges they face. It’s not very often that a volunteer gets to determine where they can contribute effectively, and that is why Club Red is so rewarding.
It’s early in my time with Club Red but the passion I have seen from the other Club Red members is inspiring. I struggled trying to put my full thoughts into words on why I became part of this organization. And as I read so many inspiring stories on the Gilda’s Club website, I feel this sense that I have found what I have been looking for. From members to volunteers, my only hope is that I can contribute something meaningful to this organization and help someone feel a sense of community as they battle this ferocious disease.
Thank you, Gilda’s Club, for allowing me to be a part of the story!
– Brent Landrum