Please Welcome our Newest Patient Navigator- Karyn Couvillion

Join us in welcoming Karyn Couvillion to the BCRC!  Below is a little about Karyn in her own words.

What is your title and when did you start working at the BCRC?

I’m a Patient Navigator, primarily working with those diagnosed with Breast Cancer at age 45 and younger.  I started at the BCRC in mid-November of last year.  I can’t believe it’s already been five months! 

 What do you do for the BCRC?

I spend most of my time working with clients, generally trying to help support them and provide guidance, education and assistance however I can. I also coordinate activities for our 45 & younger groups: The Pink Ribbon Cowgirls and L4 (Stage IV).  I’ve got to say, the entire BCRC community – staff, volunteers and clients – have been so warm and welcoming…it’s an amazing organization to be a part of!

 What inspired you to work for the BCRC?

Well, I’m not only a BCRC Patient Navigator, I’m also a client.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2014.  I had two young daughters, then ages 2 and 6.  My whole world was turned upside down.  But Runi Limary, who was my BCRC Navigator, helped me understand that I had choices and options available to me.  That sense of empowerment made all the difference for me and my family in getting through cancer treatment.  Since that time I found myself helping advise friends and their family members across the country who had been diagnosed.  When I saw that BCRC was hiring a new Patient Navigator, it just felt like that was a great opportunity to help give back to the community that had given so much to me.

Couvillion Family

What did you do prior to your work at the BCRC?

I was born in Louisiana…yup, I’m a Cajun…and raised in North Carolina, and then I found my way to New York City after college to work in advertising.  I met my ‘Joisey’ born-and-raised husband while working at an ad agency there.  I also worked in media for Time Warner for a number of years.  Then in 2002 my husband took a job based in Austin, which brought us here.  Since then I worked primarily in tech marketing for companies like Dell and Freescale.

 What do you enjoy most about working at the BCRC?

I was concerned when I first started working here that it was going to be emotionally taxing.  There are days when bad news comes but generally I find it to be the opposite.   On my second day of work, I attended an L4 (Stage IV) support group for those diagnosed at 45 and younger.  The women were high-spirited, supportive, fun and incredibly awesome who live every day to its fullest.  I am constantly inspired by their example. Generally I am surrounded by hope, caring and the best of human nature all the time.  Believe me, I have never said that about a job!

 Karyn's DaughterWhat do you do in your spare time? 

Spare time?!  What is that?! I have two girls – a 5 year old and a 9 year old – that keep me busy!  I’m also very involved in their school – Travis Heights Elementary.  This school was the first in-district charter school in A.I.S.D.  The entire community participates in making this school and each of its students a success.  I’m proud to be a part of it!  I also try to do yoga or take our crazy mutt dog, Cayenne, for walks as much as possible.

 What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

I am a diehard college hoops fan.  I have been a Duke Basketball fan since I was a kid.  It’s also my alma mater where I was – wait for it – on the Dance Team!  Thank goodness YouTube did not exist back then!  My brother sent Coach K a letter about me when I got diagnosed with cancer, and Coach K sent me a note that I now have hanging proudly at my home!  That was pretty cool...

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