Since I became a mom 31 years ago, my answer to “What do you do?” has always been “I’m a stay-at-home mom and a volunteer.” My job description on a resume might simply say: available. I have joy-filled memories of volunteering in my kids’ classrooms, coordinating school and community sports and activities, traveling nationally and internationally with my daughters’ synchronized skating teams, and assisting with the children’s choirs and singing with the contemporary worship group at my church.
My breast cancer experience expanded my volunteer scope and enriched my days. Shortly after I was diagnosed, I co-founded a peer-led, faith-based breast cancer support group with the mission of comforting and encouraging others diagnosed with breast cancer. The Comfort Club is now in its 13th year and has 230-plus members. When I learned the Firefly Sisterhood was starting a program to match newly diagnosed women with guides, I knew we were a perfect match.
Giving the gift of time, compassion, and a listening ear to others shines light and brings joy into my life each day. I can’t imagine my life without it. I’ve been blessed exponentially by being a stay-at-home mom (and now grandma!), offering comfort to women diagnosed with breast cancer, and volunteering.
Written by Diane Erickson, who has been a Firefly Sisterhood guide since April 2014. She lives in Edina with her husband and two miniature schnoodles. A 13-year breast cancer survivor, Diane was diagnosed with stage 3a, triple-positive breast cancer in May 2006, two weeks before her oldest daughter’s high school graduation. Diane is mom to three young adult children and two sons-in-law, and is thrilled beyond measure to have added to her resume the title of “mama’s mama” to 3 1/2-year-old Nora Diane and 10-month-old Fredrik Thomas. She says “I enjoy spending my time holding our household together, keeping my body and spirit healthy and running smoothly, walking with friends and my dogs, Bible study, Zumba®, Pilates, yoga, encouraging women with breast cancer, spending time with my kids and grandkids, volunteering, and just being available.”
Her Comfort Club co-founders call her the glue that holds their breast cancer support group of 230+ members together. If you would like more information about the Comfort Club, contact Diane at firstname.lastname@example.org.