BIG Lessons from my weekly radio guests
Barbara Unell founded Back in the Swing in 2000 after surviving breast cancer and finding few resources to help her get “back in the swing” after treatment.
Unlike other organizations that focus on the disease itself, Back in the Swing is the first and only national nonprofit organization providing grassroots awareness, education and fundraising on behalf of the more than 2 and a half million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
During the show I learned a lot about the mission and work of Back in the Swing as well as how employers can help breast cancer survivors transition back into the workplace. But my BIG takeaways were larger life messages:
- What we think is the end is often just the beginning. As Barbara made clear on my show, and has been preaching for the last decade to anyone who will listen, surviving breast cancer is just the beginning. The survivor still faces getting “back in the swing” physically, and often emotionally and spiritually. How many times have you pushed through a wall only to find it was a door that opened to a new challenge or opportunity?
- Sometimes life leads us down a path we aren’t expecting—be ready to go with it. For Barbara, the end of her cancer treatment was also the beginning of a brand new business. Although leading a national nonprofit focused on breast cancer survivorship was not on her career radar, Barbara’s 30 years of writing, speaking and publishing converged with her cancer experience to lead her in a new and important direction.
- Don’t underestimate passion and unwavering conviction. Barbara started Back in the Swing during a time when no one in healthcare was focusing on what happens to breast cancer patients after they complete their treatment. She was breaking new ground, trying to get people to listen to her message, trying to educate professionals who could make a difference, and trying to get supporters to open their wallets. What began a decade ago as a local grassroots mission driven by passion, desire and a firm conviction that change was needed has swelled into a broad-based organization that serves breast cancer survivors internationally.
To listen to the full radio show, click here.