The Difference A Year Can Make

This post was written by Kris Growcott, our friend from Olson who helped us develop our voice over the last two years. His mother, a spiritual healer in Australia, inspired the name and imagery of Firefly Sisterhood.

One year ago I was standing in the Mall of America parking lot, surrounded by thousands of women. They were enthusiastic, inspired and mostly dressed in pink. It was the 22nd Annual Race for the Cure and I was promoting the launch of the Firefly Sisterhood. I didn’t walk. Or run. I didn’t even leave the parking lot. Yet I was proud of what I achieved that day. For I introduced the world to a new non-profit. One that I had fought for. That I believed in. And one that I knew would change the lives of women around the world.

The Firefly Sisterhood started as a simple idea. Yoplait was looking to positively impact the lives of women with breast cancer and came to Olson for help. We presented an audaciously un-advertising-like idea – build a non-profit organization to connect breast cancer survivors with the newly diagnosed. Simple, as it can be expressed in one line. Yet, as it turns out, a more challenging task than we could ever have imagined. Meeting after meeting we built something. A beautiful identity. A board of directors. An operating budget. A website. A promotional video. A community. Finally, after months of debate, deliberation and design we were ready. We had all of the pieces in place. Now all we had to do was let others know about it.

With the first “what a great idea” came a wave of absolute relief. Women praised the Sisterhood. They flocked to our tent and were eager to listen. So I talked. I told them about our mission. Gave them our handouts. Led them to our website and asked for their help. I did all I could to launch our fledgling non-profit and went home completely exhausted. There was nothing more I could do but wait and see.

Three days later the Firefly Sisterhood made its first match. Seventy-four have occurred since. In our first year, we reached seventy-five women fighting breast cancer with a little light, hope and love. We also reached all of the healthcare providers – who now refer patients directly to our program. One year ago today I couldn’t imagine what would become of the Firefly Sisterhood. Today, I can only dream of what’s going to happen next.

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