Role: Co-Founder, Program Coordinator
About me: I’m happily married to my high school sweetheart and the two of us our doing our best to raise our two teenage boys and keep them out of trouble! I’m a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner. While I’m currently not in clinical practice, I’m able to use my professional background in many different ways including being a patient navigator for SOUL RYEDERS. In addition to my true passion of helping other people, I enjoy spending time with friends & family, exercising, reading and drinking coffee & wine!
Why I got Involved: I started participating in the 39 mile Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in memory of one friend and in honor of another in 2006. After having such a positive experience, I decided to start a team in 2007. Our team’s name was Sole Ryeders & Friends, as the original group of walkers were from Rye, New York. Thanks to countless dedicated volunteers and supporters, we’ve grown from a team doing the Avon Walk to a much larger organization (now called SOUL RYEDERS to reflect our daily commitment to touch the SOULS of those affected by cancer). Since 2007, we’ve raised over $2.5 million, which we use to fund SOUL RYEDERS’ seven programs, which includes The Wig Exchange.
What Makes The Wig Exchange Special: Women in need of wigs walk into our office or partner salon as strangers and they usually leave with hugs and occasional tears. That’s because of the magic that exists when our volunteer Client Coordinators make these women feel so comfortable sharing their stories and their fears and then help them not only find a wig, but answer their questions and put them at ease. I always had a feeling that these very personal connections would help make the women in need of wigs feel better about their situation—but the surprise to me has been how happy we’ve been able to make the wig donors. For many of them, it’s been very therapeutic to pay it forward by sharing their wig(s) and helping the next woman who finds herself in similar shoes.