New Year, New ACS Voice
When we can avail ourselves to them, life gives us opportunities and challenges that transform us. Cancer did that for me. It screeched my life to a halt and forced me to reconsider priorities, life style choices, and values. Looking back, I can say that cancer saved my life. Nineteen years later, cancer provided me a second opportunity to reflect and be open to possibilities. Again, I felt myself listening for discoveries and insights as I approached this later stage of life. Feeling at the cusp of transition, I met Diana Sevanian, volunteer writer for the American Cancer Society in Santa Clarita. A series of fortunate occurrences, experiences, and new acquaintances lead me to her, and we found ourselves sitting on a curb outside the ACS office. As we talked, I instantly felt her loving and generous spirit, her compassion and commitment to a cause greater than herself. Her warmth was welcoming and reassuring. She had made the decision to end her tenure as writer and reporter for ACS, a role she held for almost two decades. We discussed her position and the possibility of my undertaking it. As we talked about work and life, I felt deep gratitude and joy. This opportunity, unexpected but so appreciated, sneaked up and sat poised before me. Some might say it was meant to be. Diana calls it Kismet. I know that listening and being open to possibilities brought me to this moment. I am thankful that our paths aligned, and I am happy to accept this invitation.
I will be undertaking Diana’s role as news writer for Santa Clarita’s chapter of the American Cancer Society. I am eager to join this active, dedicated group of volunteers which provides information, services, and support programs for cancer patients and their families. It is with humility and some apprehension that I step in for Diana. She has been a respected and consistent voice promoting American Cancer Society events and programs in the Santa Clarita Valley. However, with her guidance and support, I hope to carry on the good work she has done and continue to make contributions to our community.
Mary Petersen is a COC English instructor, longtime SCV resident, and two-time breast cancer survivor.
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