Cancer. Few words can strike more fear in the human heart.
Network of support
For Diane Glenn, it was no different. But she did have one thing that could help ease the burden—a network of love and support that included her colleagues at TIAA.
When she joined the company in 2004 as a phone consultant, Diane remembers, "It felt right. The clients we support do wonderful things. And day by day, I learned the stories of our participants and their philanthropy, too."
These stories would play a seminal role in her future.
When diagnosed with breast cancer two years later, Diane leaned strongly on her "faith in God and love from others. My corporate family supported me through it," as did the inspiring customer stories that had stayed with her.
From survival to service
"My survival made me feel indebted to help others. I wanted to carry that torch—to give to a mission bigger than myself." That mission would become the Celebrating the Gift of Life Foundation, established by Diane in 2011 to support women like her through the breast cancer journey both emotionally and financially.
With an army of volunteers, the foundation partners with the Levine Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and others, contributing both time and money raised through events like their annual fundraising gala. Diane was cared for at Levine and now sits on their Breast Cancer Advisory Board. "Everything they do has the person at the heart of it," she says. And that is how she feels about TIAA.
"I don't know if I'd ever have started down this path had I not been inspired by our clients. I have a wonderful job that I love, and I've been able to live out my calling on this earth because of it—it's like pieces of a puzzle that belong together."
Even following her battle with a recurrence in 2014, Diane continues to give and focus on the positive, as evidenced by her inspiring summary of her journey. "It's during the worst times of your life that you often experience the best of life."