Many of our volunteers are students who join the BRIGHT Run to earn the community service hours required to graduate from high school. We wanted to find out what some of them are up to now and what they think of the BRIGHT experience.
This month, meet Brooke Milligan, 20, who began volunteering with the BRIGHT Run in 2013, along with her mother Laura, who is a nurse.
Where are you now?
I have just finished my second year at McMaster University, where I am working toward my BScN/RN.
I work in a family practice office for the Hamilton Family Health Team, where I have been for five years. These days, I am working in the COVID testing clinics.
Why/how did you originally get involved with BRIGHT Run?
We joined the BRIGHT RUN first as participants in memory of my aunt Nancy Milligan. Then this firecracker of a woman dressed in pink named Nancy McMillan happened and bam! She recruited the whole family!
If you could summarize your BRIGHT Run experience in one word, what would it be?
I think my best memories of volunteering were the fun times I had in the hospital and festivals while helping out with the fundraisers. My most vivid memory was bossing Dr. Mark Levine around while I was completely unaware who he was!
How would you describe your BRIGHT Run experience to a Grade 9 student who is looking for volunteer hours?
You can make as much out of it as you want.
You can simply get your hours with a great group of people where you are appreciated and valued OR you can become part of another family where you matter as much to them as they do to you.
You can be quiet and do behind-the-scenes things OR put yourself front and center.
You can make personal attachments with people that will last a lifetime or simply walk away feeling that you have done a good thing. There is no pressure to go beyond your safe zone and there is great encouragement if you want to spread your wings and fly.
I have learned there is a huge community of people that are touched by breast cancer beyond the therapy at the hospital. That you can become part of something bigger than yourself and walk away with a feeling of accomplishment and pride. I have made friends with people I never would have met otherwise and I have a second family I can count on.