Barbara Krauser: Beloved SHARE Hotline Director


As part of our 40 for 40 series, we ask former hotline director Barbara Krauser about how she got involved with SHARE and her 40th Anniversary wish for the organization.

When and how did you get involved with SHARE?

I was diagnosed in 1994. I didn’t know about SHARE, but I was friends with Alice Yaker, and I knew she worked for a breast cancer organization. She suggested that I go to a support group, which I did. It was a six-week, limited-time group for early stage breast cancer, and it helped normalize my experience. I got very sick in the fall of 1995, related to my chemo, but in the spring of 1996 I started to volunteer on the hotline, again through Alice.

What have you done for SHARE?

The hotline was very limited: there were very few people who worked in the office, and the training was mostly word of mouth. It was much more laid-back, easy-going, then. In 1998, SHARE decided to expand the hotline and hired me as the hotline coordinator; Odette was the hotline director. When I worked the hotline, we weren’t even on the internet then, or have email! Still, we developed the program guide and trained many volunteers, and when Odette left I became the director. Eventually, I also got into advocacy, working on Project Lead.

How has SHARE helped you?

Sometime in the early 2000’s we moved offices, and the hotline room moved from the front to the back of the office-- it was one of the only rooms with windows! It became a little haven. I loved being in the hotline room and spending time with the volunteers. We always had things to talk about, to laugh about. It was fun! Weird, that it was fun, but it was. I really enjoyed my time working alongside these women and training them, and working at SHARE in general. SHARE also helped me to develop my creativity in ways that I had never done before. It gave me the support and confidence to stretch myself and do things I wouldn’t have otherwise done. It made me feel I was doing something important, and made me feel accepted and loved.

What is your 40th anniversary wish for SHARE?

Money! I also wish the staff would feel that SHARE is a warm and personally supportive place, that our advocates finally push the medical establishment to find cures and better treatments, and that we continue to help the women who need us.

See more 40 for 40 posts here.