Beginnings & Afters – Stories Of Making A Difference

BCRC 20 years of service in Central Texas“Does a place like BCRC exist outside of Central Texas?”
“Why aren’t there more BCRCs throughout the country?”
“If only I had an organization like BCRC to help me when I was going through breast cancer.”

…We’ve heard sentiments like these echoed many times over the past twenty years. And our response is always the same. We owe our unique approach and ability to help women in the face of cancer to some very brave pioneering women and a community of supporters who remain committed to keeping our services available and free-of-charge for every woman who comes to us for help.

Throughout December we will be publishing stories of how we got started, how we’ve grown, and what we’ve accomplished over the last 20 years. All because the people of Central Texas – YOU – made improving the lives of women with breast cancer a priority.


 

Ann Lawlor and Sherry Smith

Twenty years ago, a woman with breast cancer had very little help available to her in Austin. There was no one to help her cope with the fact she had cancer. No one to provide proof she too could get through the experience.

From within this reality, two women in the midst of treatment formed a bond through their shared experience. Their names were Ann and Sherry. Soon it became undeniable – having the support of someone who understood what they were going though was huge. And, they wanted to provide what they had found to others.

In 1995, these women teamed up with several others (two nurses and a social worker among them) and founded the Breast Cancer Resource Center. They had a helpline and a support group. They formed a “database” of survivors who could provide encouragement to other women. Training was simple and focused on how to be a good listener, how to provide understanding, and how to communicate hope.

Some of the calls were handled quickly as the questions and requests were direct – Where can I get a wig? Do you have a list of surgeons? Many calls took longer because the woman needed help dealing with the deep, dark shadow of the unknown.

Ray Anne Evans

“I took these calls very seriously. I would go into my room, shut the door, and take several deep breaths before I dialed the number. I wanted very badly to be my ‘best self’ for the woman on the other end of that phone because I knew one thing for sure: the woman I was about to call was in crisis.”
Ray Anne Evans, Executive Director, former volunteer, and 18-year Survivor.

With the support of local people, just like you, BCRC has become much more than a volunteer helpline. Today, in addition to being survivors, BCRC staff are trained professionals and experts in where to go, what to do next, and how to keep moving forward. Additionally, all our services remain free of charge to anyone affected by breast cancer regardless of income, ethnicity, level of education, or social support.

Give the Gift of Hope

This holiday season we reflect on the simple reality that BCRC would not exist if it weren’t for the generosity of those who give each year. The power of your giving is REAL and it affects real women right here in the Greater Austin area.

As the year end approaches, consider opening your heart and making a generous donation to ensure our community has a dedicated place of hope for the next 20 years. We promise you’ll be making a difference that counts. Give today.

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