October Volunteer of the Month: Suzanne Coates Brown

It was only a few months ago that Suzanne Coates Brown attended a Komen Columbus volunteer orientation, but since then  Suzanne has “hit the ground running,” – literally.

Suzanne volunteered to head up our Marathon for the Cure team this year and has been busy attending fitness expos to promote and encourage others to join the team. Not only is she the team captain, but she’s running the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus half marathon on Sunday, October 21 to prepare for her second New York City full marathon in November. Read more about her journey here.

It is because of Suzanne’s passion and enthusiasm that we decided to select her as October’s volunteer of the month. We wish Suzanne and the entire Marathon for the Cure team all the best on October 21 and will be cheering them all on.

In Suzanne’s own words, read why she volunteers for Komen Columbus.

Suzanne and her son at this year’s Race for the Cure

What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001 and has been a survivor for almost 11 years.  So breast cancer has directly touched my family, and I am very aware of the 1 in 4 odds my sister and I now have of being diagnosed with it.  Being involved not only raises money for research to hopefully end breast cancer, but also raises awareness to be able to detect it early.  That was the most critical thing for me to learn when my mom was diagnosed.  Also, I have done the Race for the Cure in Columbus for the past three years.  I was so moved by the size and the emotion of the event, I wanted to be more involved, particularly where I could use my passion for running.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
I am an avid runner and volunteering for Komen, particularly for Marathon for the Cure, is a perfect way for me to combine my passion with a meaningful cause that has impacted my family.      I also enjoy the Komen team and the way they support and show appreciation to their volunteers for their efforts.  I just came on board in April, but it’s been a truly fulfilling experience.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
The people I have met and the personal stories I have heard on how breast cancer has impacted others have been so meaningful.  Someone I know recently questioned how much of a difference he was making with what he felt was a small contribution.  I told him this:  When I volunteered for the 10TV Health & Fitness Expo, I talked to a lot of people, but it was that one woman who came over and said, “I am in treatment right now for breast cancer and I could just hug you for being here and supporting the cause.”  And that’s when you realize that little efforts do go a long way and add up to a much bigger result.

When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
I am a working mom, so I love to spend free time with hanging out my husband and son, even if it means sitting & catching up w/my husband while cheering for my son at one of his many sports activities.  I am a runner, and am currently training for the NYC Marathon.  I also serve as board president for my friend’s new nonprofit organization Besa, which allows me to give back in other ways while enjoying the company of a good friend.


One thought on “October Volunteer of the Month: Suzanne Coates Brown

  1. Hi, I am Suzanne’s mom Ellen. I am so proud of everything she does for Komen Columbus and for being selected as volunteer of the month. To me she’s always a winner. Good luck in the half marathon on Oct, 21.

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