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Volunteer Spotlight - Kenzie and Phebe

March 16, 2023

Volunteer Spotlight - Kenzie and Phebe

Kenzie DiGennaro

When my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at an early age and later diagnosed with a BRCA1 mutation, FORCE was there for her and supported her through the turbulent times. Like many families with a hereditary cancer mutation, we were overwhelmed and had no idea where to begin. FORCE provided a community of supportive and loving people who understood what we were feeling. 

I became a Message Board Moderator and Helpline Volunteer in 2020. Being able to connect with people and provide them with support and the wonderful resources FORCE offers has been very rewarding. I have since added two additional volunteer roles at FORCE as a Patient Advocate Leader and Research Advocate. It’s been empowering being able to advocate for the rights of people like my mother and others in the hereditary cancer community. 

I volunteer with FORCE to ensure others are not alone as they face hereditary cancer. I am forever grateful to FORCE for providing such a warm and inviting community of people in my life. 

Phebe Lemert

I am a second-year genetic counseling student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. I found FORCE a bit differently than other volunteers and constituents - I was completing an assignment in college and stumbled upon FORCE's website. The wealth of information, resources and programs were quite inspiring to me. I had been involved with other cancer nonprofits throughout my life, but the community that FORCE helped foster seemed so genuine. I knew if I could, I wanted to get involved. And since 2019, that's what I have been doing!

I volunteer with FORCE because I value empowering people with the knowledge to make decisions in line with their values and wishes. In addition, I think increasing access to (and the understanding of) genetics is invaluable. With my background, I have a unique skillset that I want to share with others. I am happy being an open book resource for constituents, whether it be related to genetic counseling, genetic testing, various resources, etc. But, above all, I enjoy hearing the experiences of constituents when they call the FORCE Helpline and post on the message boards - it helps me be a better volunteer and human being.

Posted in: Volunteer Spotlight
Tags: Hereditary Cancer , FORCE , Volunteer

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