February Volunteer of the Month: Kim Jennings

Kim Jennings has a personal vendetta against cancer. In 2011, her mother died of breast cancer, three aunts are currently battling breast cancer, one aunt passed away last month, and other forms of cancer, lung, colon, etc., have impacted her family or has taken away someone she loves.

Kim Jennings Feb VOM
The Jennings family at the 2010 Komen Columbus Race for the Cure.

Kim has turned her sorrow into determination and passion to find a cure for cancer. In 2012, Kim was a integral part of the Race for the Cure committee and helped to lead the Information Ambassadors, a group of volunteers that provide information and answers to Race participants on Race Day. Kim is also a member of the education committee, volunteers at health fairs and expos and recently helped with our affiliate’s inaugural Pink Tie Ball in September.

“Kim is always willing to lend a hand, even while balancing school and work,” said Becca Thomas, director of events and marketing.

Her volunteering efforts don’t stop with Komen Columbus. For the second time in her life, she is donating her hair to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. The program helps distribute free and real-hair wigs to women with cancer. This year her locks will be snipped on Saturday, May 18th – the day of the Race for the Cure!

Follow Kim’s “hair-raising” journey on her blog, Journey of a girl and her ponytail.

We are fortunate to see Kim often and congratulate her as our February Volunteer of the Month. Learn more about Kim below.

What (or whom) inspired you to get involved with Komen Columbus?
They say people find their true passion through life’s experiences. Well that is essentially what happened with me. While I had numerous family members that had been diagnosed with breast cancer, it didn’t hit home until we found out my mom had it in 2009. Before she died in 2011 I had this urge to do more than just show up at the race once a year. I wanted to do everything I could to spread awareness, save lives, and more importantly try to support families through the journey of having a loved one with breast cancer. Susan G. Komen’s mission is one that I not only believe in but I respect.

What’s your favorite part about volunteering with Komen Columbus?
By far the best part about volunteering with Komen Columbus is being able to interact with all kinds of people. Whether it is the staff, other volunteers, survivors, or the community, the people I have come into contact with are pretty awesome!

What is the most memorable moment or event you’ve experienced with Komen Columbus? And why?
I volunteered for the Wacoal Fit for the Cure in 2011 and I met a woman there who told me she hadn’t had a mammogram in a very long time because her insurance wouldn’t cover it. I encouraged her to call her insurance company because she was of age to get yearly mammograms and I also gave her a list of organizations in Columbus that offered screening for those that were underinsured. The woman was so thankful she started crying and wanted to give me a hug, and then I started crying and was a mess! But it really hit home why everything we do is so important.

When you’re not volunteering for Komen Columbus, what do you like to do?
When I am not volunteering, at work, or studying for a test, I am relaxing with family and friends, traveling, or at the gym.