Chrislyn Miller Maher started volunteering with Komen Baton Rouge when she was in college, and has continued volunteering for over 10 years. Working in marketing and communication at the Tiger Athletic Foundation, Maher also serves as the social media manager for Komen. She is a Race for the Cure team leader, and is passionate about what the foundation is doing for breast cancer research.
HOW SHE GOT INVOLVED
My initial exposure to the organization was as a 7th grader. I remember watching the survivors cross the finish line downtown on a cold October day. To say it made an impression is an understatement.
Also, my mom is the largest reason I’m involved. She has been involved with Komen Baton Rouge for many years—first as a member of the board of directors, and then she eventually became Executive Director. She’s not a survivor but has many family members that are. It’s a cause important to her. As her role within the organization grew and my skills as a communications professional grew, I was asked to take on more within the organization.
WHAT SHE DOES
I work fulltime, so I manage the day to day of our social media channels—Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram—before work, on lunch breaks, and in the evenings. We also have some really talented volunteers, like LeeAnne Miracle, who is currently working on a video series to tell the story of survivors and co-survivors who participate in the Baton Rouge Race for the Cure.
WHY SHE DOES IT
The most rewarding part for me is seeing the research that Komen is funding. Every major advance in the fight against breast cancer has been touched by Susan G. Komen. When they say they are on a mission to save lives, they mean it. Another exciting area is the link to genetics. With the right information, a geneticist can test you and give you info on how likely you are to have a cancer diagnosis. It’s really amazing stuff!
HOW SHE EARNED THE OLIVIA POPE NICKNAME
Have a problem? I can fix it. The solution might be in my pink fanny pack. Sometimes that’s finding a generator for a sponsor, sometimes its redirecting lines, and sometimes it’s helping packet pickup quickly change their process to get race bibs to participants before the race starts! On race day, you won’t ever find me in one spot long. I learn about all areas of the race and assist in managing special projects and mitigated potential issues the day of the race.
WHAT KOMEN BATON ROUGE DOES
With Louisiana ranking second in the nation for breast cancer mortality, educational programming and screenings are needed now more than ever! That’s why Susan G. Komen Baton Rouge launched the Komen BReast Health Initiative. We hold events in our 10-parish service area, and, not only share more in-depth breast health information, but we will also have a dietitian, a personal trainer, and other activities. We are teaming up with Woman’s Hospital and Mary Bird Perkins to ensure access to screening is available. Finally, we will create a transportation plan to ensure that anyone who needs further testing will have transportation to the testing site.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
1. Register for Race for the Cure on March 3 at KomenBatonRouge.org. Get a group of friends, co-workers or your family together and create a team.
2. Can’t make it to the race? Make a donation. $135 will help fund a mammogram for an under or uninsured woman in our community. You can donate at KomenBatonRouge.org.
3. Find us on social media to stay connected and learn about upcoming events and volunteer opportunities- facebook.com/komenbatonrouge, Instagram @KomenBR, and Twitter @komenbatonrouge.
4. Know your risk and know your normal!
Photo by Season Vining