When Lisa asked me to write a guest blog, she told me to write about whatever stood out to me as an intern. It did not take me long to decide what I wanted to write about. ColorCancer is special. After being an unpaid intern for a month, I can honestly say ColorCancer has become so dear to me. I wish I could work here forever. It is different than any other organization I have been a part of for many reasons; its a family, driven by passion, without boundaries.
ColorCancer is a family. Even as an intern I feel like part of a team that is truly valued and needed. Getting to work in an office where I can joke with my boss, and have flexible hours has made me feel like I am on this mission too. I want to see ColorCancer succeed, and I’ll work hard so that it will.
The staff of ColorCancer are some of the most passionate people I have met. I have never heard anyone talk about needing a bigger salary, but I have heard “With that money we could serve so many more cancer patients” plenty of times. Money donated to ColorCancer goes to serve patients in the greater Austin area directly, because that is what the staff is passionate about; helping people.
The last thing that makes ColorCancer so special is that ColorCancer truly has no bounds. We don’t care about economic status or income, if someone has cancer and gets referred to us, we provide cancer support. We don’t cap the amount of products a CaredFOR can choose, we just fill the need. The title CareBOX is misleading. Personally, I have delivered over 800 wipes to a baby enduring cancer treatment, and over $1000 worth of care supplies to ONE CaredFOR. ColorCancer serves all types of cancers, not just a select few. Any type of cancer is scary and we hate that, so we work to make it better.
I am happier working at ColorCancer than I have ever been working for a salary. It is so worth it, to donate my time and my money here. The thank you notes we receive and the looks on the faces of our CaredFOR’s families as we bring in box after box of care supplies are my paycheck and I am happy with that, because ColorCancer is so much more than a workplace for me. ColorCancer is a continually growing family with small pockets and big hearts.
For as long as I can remember I have had a heart to serve others, especially those dealing with cancer. Maybe it stems from seeing my own parents struggle, survive, and heal from their bouts with bladder and breast cancer, but I’ve always known that I want to use my talents to help others.
I found ColorCancer through a volunteering event. As soon as I walked into the office for my interview and saw the office dog, I somehow knew that this was the place for me. That was about 3 months ago, now I know that I was exactly right. Never before have I been in such a positive work environment. Interning at ColorCancer has exposed me to a group of strong, capable, like-minded women and I couldn’t be more thankful for that. It’s such an incredible feeling every morning coming into the office knowing that I will be making a difference in the lives of so many.
To me, one of the most incredible things about ColorCancer is how it has grown. Since the CareBOX Program began in 2014 we have served 32 patients. As we are preparing for the launch of our new website, we’ve set the goal high. We want to serve 20 patients every month! With the hardworking ColorCancer team and support from the community, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that we will make it happen.
Another thing that sets ColorCancer apart from any other organization is the nature of what we do. We provide free at-home care supplies to cancer patients. The help that we give is immediate and direct. We know that no matter who you are or where you come from, cancer is rough on everyone. That’s why we don’t screen for income. I can’t help but think about how helpful it would have been to my family had there been a program like the CareBOX Program for us.
With the summer coming to an end, I’m not ready to leave. Interning at ColorCancer has shown me that a small group of passionate people can make a huge difference, and that’s exactly what’s being done here at ColorCancer.
Jess, ColorCancer Intern
Every Cancer Has a Color. Every Color Has a Story.
Did you know every cancer is represented by a color? This weekend, there was an explosion of color at The Color Run Austin! ColorCancer invited runners and volunteers to add their handprints to our letters of HOPE and STRENGTH in the colors of cancer that has impacted them.
What is YOUR color story? Saturday, we heard mothers explaining to their daughters they were painting their hands PINK in honor of grandma who had Breast Cancer. Husbands and wives painted their hands multiple colors including DARK BLUE for Colon Cancer and ORANGE for Skin Cancer, both of which impacted their family. A three-time survivor of Ovarian Cancer painted her hands TEAL. On a personal note, my daughter Lily and I painted our hands GRAY for Brain Cancer to honor my late husband Eric.
As you go through this day, remember that everyone you meet likely has a color story. You might have more in common than you think. Share your story!