August Volunteer of the Month: Laura Tarbert

Laura Tarbert knows firsthand the emotional roller coaster a woman goes through when diagnosed with breast cancer. As a 25-year survivor, she lives her life with new perspective since her diagnosis: “to live every day like it could be your last.”

We are proud to announce Laura as August’s Volunteer of the Month. Her love of life and dedication to Komen’s mission is truly infectious. Laura has been instrumental in helping secure items for the live and silent auctions for our inaugural Pink Tie Ball as well as helping on our Development Committee. Nominating Laura as August’s volunteer of the month was a no-brainer for Beth Waldren, director of development.

“Laura has great attention to detail and always follows through. She truly wants to help Komen Columbus make a difference in the community,” Beth said.

Thank you Laura for your continued support and your compassion to help others.

Read below, in Laura’s own words, what keeps her involved year after year.

What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
I am a 25 year breast cancer survivor and have participated in the Race since moving to Columbus in 1996.  My Aunt Judy is a survivor and I lost my Sister Jenny to breast cancer.  I worked in the women’s health industry selling cancer detection software for a number of years where I heard about the many patients who delayed care due to lack of insurance or lack of education about the disease.   After losing Jenny in 2007  I decided to get more involved in fighting the disease and became a volunteer for Komen Columbus, first on the Education Committee then moving to the Race Development Team.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
It’s been great to get an understanding of the enormous amount of work that is involved in planning events like The Race for the Cure.  I have enjoyed meeting some brilliant, creative and dedicated people who devote time and energy to eradicating breast cancer.

Laura organized “Team Jenny” during the Race for the Cure in 2011, in memory of her sister who passed away from breast cancer.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
I think that would be the 2011 Race for the Cure.  It was the first year I organized “Jenny’s Team” in honor of my sister.  We had about 20 family members and close friends together and the attendance at the Race was phenomenal – it was very emotional to see that many people gathered for a cause, and to see the large number of survivors there.  You know you are making a difference.

When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
Being a survivor gives you a new perspective on life, to live every day like it could be your last.  I enjoy spending time with my husband, family and friends or getting lost in a good book.  My husband and I are also avid motorcyclists  – I enjoy that because I am entirely  focused on what I am doing at that moment and I forget about everything else.