Meet the Staff at Komen Columbus: Becca Thomas

What events/people or experiences led you here to Komen Columbus?
I had the pleasure of working with Sarah Irvin Clark in my previous life at a PR agency and she let me know when a position at Komen became available. (Sarah owns her own PR agency and handles all media for Komen.) I wasn’t sure the position was exactly for me, (I spent my first weeks sorting yogurt-covered Yoplait lids,) but within 4 weeks I was hooked. In December I’ll celebrate four years with Komen and while those lids resurface once a year, I’ve gotten to do and experience so many things throughout the years, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The Komen brand was something I was familiar with and even though at the time I only knew a handful of survivors, I wanted to be part of an organization that made a difference in people’s lives.

What do you do for Komen Columbus? How does your role help with Komen’s mission?
I’m the Director of Events  and help coordinate all special events for the affiliate.

I help support Komen’s mission by organizing events to raise funds that enable us to grant money to support education, screening and treatment services in our community. We always try to ensure a strong awareness component during our events as well, so attendees leave our events know exactly who we are, what our mission is, and who they’re helping to support by contributing to Komen Columbus.

What (or whom) inspires you come to work every day?
Thinking of the hundreds of survivors I’ve met in the past four years, as well as those who are no longer here because of this disease keeps me motivated. Hearing the stories of single mothers who have gone through treatment while working full time or others who fought against infections, nausea and dozens of other side effects during their battles provides you with an incredible amount of perspective.

I also work closely with volunteers and seeing their passion and dedication to the cause always re-energizes me when I need it the most. There’s nothing more motivating than working alongside people who have already put in a full day at their jobs and then come to help us out for hours at a time.

Often I also meet people who have lost loved ones to breast cancer, and it’s hard to hear their stories and see the loss they’ve experienced without being motivated to work harder or longer to make the Race or any other activity we have going on as successful as it can be.

Becca and her mom, Eileen, in the early morning before the 2010 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
Being a part of my first Race in May 2009 was very memorable. To see all our hard work (and lots of blood, sweat and tears) reflected in the joy that many survivors have in their faces crossing the finish line makes it all worth it, as does seeing the pride in their loved ones’ faces. I remember watching one particular survivor get out of her wheelchair to walk across the finish line with her daughter, and that is a moment I won’t forget. She unfortunately passed away months later.

To be able to see all the details and planning through the event itself was an incredible experience and one I keep coming back for. It’s a lot of pressure to ensure the Race is impactful and meaningful for 50,000 people, but when you see their reactions and hear how moved they were, it confirms why we’re all here.

When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I love being outside walking or running, spending time with my husband and playing with our puppy. I can always be counted on to make a big mess in the kitchen while cooking and always enjoy traveling to visit family, especially my two nieces!

What’s your favorite quote? Why does this quote “speak” to you?
I don’t have one favorite quote, but two that have spoken to me recently are: “Take as a gift whatever the day brings forth…” by Horace and “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely,” from Roald Dahl.

To meet other Komen Columbus staff members, click here. Learn more about Komen Columbus by visiting our website, Facebook and Twitter Pages.