"Linda Creed was my niece."
“I am ever so grateful to Linda Creed.”
“I was not alone.”
“I was glad you were there. Linda Creed helped me two times."
“I want to be able to pay it forward.”
"Knowledge is empowering."
"We make a difference in our community."
The reality is about a year after Linda died I woke up one morning and said "Im going to start a foundation in Linda's name." I absolutely know that this came from some spiritual place as I had never been involved with charities before. It certainly became a way for me to keep Linda always with me.
I always tell people that we were the first breast cancer organization in the state of Pennsylvania and maybe the only one locally that wasn't started by someone whose career was in breast cancer. We also were one of the founding members of the National Breast Cancer Collation; the Pennsylvania state representative and their only president came from Linda Creed.
What makes me proud? Saving lives is number one. At our first free mammogram screening, I was worried no one would show up. I made our housekeeper, nanny, whatever you want to call her (a woman who worked for us for 18 years) - she came and was diagnosed with breast cancer and lived until 85. Her twin sister, living in England, died from breast cancer. In the beginnings no one talked about breast cancer, we changed the consciousness and did advocacy to get quality control of mammograms in Pennsylvania and lots of activism for money for breast cancer research from the government. This was a lot of work but a big success.
I believe our volunteers want to be involved (today no one knew Linda) because we make a difference in our community; anyone who wants to put in the work is encouraged and supported for their efforts and we have no bureaucracy to keep people from feeling empowered.
People always ask me why I am still involved, aren't I tired of it? My answer is: This organization was like my child, I gave birth to it so I will always be connected and even though I do not run it anymore (I did it full time for 10 years). I will always be connected because it was my baby.