What’s Going On in the KTB Offices?

Front Row: Mary Hayes, Alex Jewell, Jane Ka’ala Pang, Charlene Kazner, Angela Acevedo, Pam Plain
Behind Counter: Terrie Mahin, Kathy Hass, Stephanie Lesher

Our office is bursting with energy this summer, especially on Tuesdays, when our long-time once-a-week volunteer, Terrie Mahin,  arrives to do whatever is needed.  She has almost singlehandedly taken on the project of keeping our Flickr site updated, and is dedicated to helping whoever needs her asssitance.  Joining Terrie are our summer interns, Pam Plain and Alex Jewell; both are students at IU Kokomo, and are here several days per week through August.  These two ladies have taken on very special projects: Pam has loads of experience in international shipping, and is spearheading the organizing, packing, and shipping of our container to Kenya.  Alex has taken on the fight to clean up the data in “Opal”, the official name of our database.  Keep reading to learn more about this trio of amazing women, and to join us in saying goodbye to one of our own.

Pam says: “I am a nontraditional student at IUK. I am a senior in the Health Science Major, and will graduate in May of 2014. I started a breast cancer advocacy club at school called ‘Ribbon Warriors’, putting advocacy into action. I was the first person in this major to get an internship, and was thrilled when I could have Alex join me. My first exposure to the KTB was last February at the collection event. It was a life changing experience and I knew I wanted to work with this amazing group. I first discussed internship opportunities with Kathi (Ridley-Merriweather), and then was able to highlight my past international moving and logistics experience with Jill (Henry). Well, as they say the rest is history! This summer has been a rewarding experience exceeding any expectations  I could have set. I will be going to Kenya and will be ready for the experience of a life time!”

Alex says: “Hi! I’m Alexandria Jewell and my favorite hobby is reading. I will begin my senior year at Indiana Univesity Kokomo this Fall, and I will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science. I have really enjoyed my time at the KTB, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to learn from these amazing people.”

And now, an interview with Terrie Mahin:

How did you find out about the Komen Tissue Bank?

I found out about the Komen Tissue Bank through an article on Traci Runge in the Indianapolis Star in August or September of 2011.

What made you want to volunteer here?

I retired from teaching high school in May of 2011 and had been very involved in the Komen Race for the Cure serving as our school’s Team Captain for 13 years.  I was interested in continuing in my support of the fight against breast cancer and felt that volunteering with the Komen Tissue Bank would be a great way for me to do this.

What do you do for the Komen Tissue Bank?

I volunteer every Tuesday in their office and do whatever needs to be done.  I have barcoded test tubes for donation days, written Thank You notes for donations, labeled pictures in Flickr for our KTB website, folded T-shirts & put together donor gift bags, and have volunteered at donation day events as Team Lead at Donor Check In.  I can’t begin to tell you how much I look forward to my volunteer day in the KTB office.

What have you learned from your experiences volunteering here?

I have learned a lot about the donation process, but more importantly how many people are so passionate about supporting the fight against breast cancer.

Why do you enjoy volunteering here?

I love the KTB staff and all the wonderful people associated with KTB—doctors, volunteers, donors—they are all so happy and excited to be a part of such a wonderful cause.  The KTB staff has become dear friends.  They are all so kind and helpful and are so appreciative of everything you do.  They treat me like one of the group and not just a volunteer that spends one day a week in their office.  They are all so hardworking, dedicated and so much fun to be around.

What is your favorite or memorable KTB volunteer moment for you?

My moments that are unforgettable to me are the stories you hear from the donors at our donation events.  I remember my first event in Bloomington an elderly lady shared with us as she was checking in that she did not have a lot of money, but that she could donate a part of herself.  Also, the groups of donors that come together to donate.  There are groups of friends or family memories who are donating for a loved one who is currently a survivor or has lost their battle with breast cancer.  I just love donation days and wonder what new stories will be shared.



Liz and baby

It is with bittersweet feelings that we announce the departure of Liz Way from the KTB staff.  Liz has served as Event and Regulatory Coordinator for three years with us here, but has been an employee of Indiana University for twelve years!  There are many people here on campus who will be so sad to see her go.  Liz (pictured here with one of the beautiful children we met in Kenya), her husband Chris, and their young family are moving to southern Indiana, where Liz will be able to be an at-home mom to her two children, Max (6) and Libbey (2).  Liz isn’t done with us yet though – she will join our volunteer list and is planning to come with us to Kenya in January.  We wish the best of luck to Liz and her family as they begin this new chapter in their lives!

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