When I came to SHARE, I was warmly welcomed by the people here, and I more or less felt at home right away. So I have been volunteering for SHARE for about two years now.
Coming to SHARE really does something to my mental status that gives me a lift. I come here and spend time with women who've had similar treatments to mine. They've gone through the rigors of chemotherapy and radiation like I did, and I see how life goes on for them. They work very hard at what they do to help other women and as a not-for-profit organization I must say that SHARE does a wonderful job. I am benefiting a lot from being here, and I have met some wonderful people.
I've also gone to Albany and to Capitol Hill to talk with legislators about breast cancer issues. In Albany, I was able to talk from personal experience about lymphedema because I have that condition. I emphasized how important it is for therapists treating lymphedema patients to follow criteria for treatment that have been set by the Lymphedema Association. I enjoyed doing it and I felt good about it, and I felt like it was the first time I was really doing something to contribute to helping women with breast cancer.
Since my involvement with SHARE, I've also been able to go home to Jamaica and visit the one breast cancer support group that they have in Kingston. I've been able to share with them a lot of the knowledge I have gotten from being involved at SHARE. For me that is a big deal.