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.
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!
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...