Meet Our Members: Deb Violette
Hi, my name is Deb Violette and I am Board Secretary and member of Central Maine Striders. I am not your typical member as I do not run. You are probably thinking, “How did you become a Board Secretary and Member?” Here is a bit of my story and how I came to Central Maine Strider’s annual social December 2018.
I started a foundation called Free ME from Lung Cancer in 2012 to help researchers find a cure for lung cancer, help Maine high risk patients get access to early lung cancer screening and low income home owners get access to radon air abatement systems. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer. In fact the Environmental Protection Agency states that one in every three homes has radon high enough to warrant mitigation.
I started Free ME from Lung Cancer because I am a 22 year lung cancer survivor. I was given a 10% chance of living two years. During my treatment I knew that I wanted to help others diagnosed with this disease. A disease that often leaves the patient isolated, shamed and blamed for their disease because so often it is linked to smoking. Through research we now know that this is not the case at all. If you have lungs you can get lung cancer.
I host two events annually. A themed auction and a "Save Your Breath" 5k. You may have seen my post on the 5k [on the Central Maine Striders facebook group]. In December 2018 I saw a post about Central Maine Strider’s annual social. I asked if anyone could come to the social and I was told yes. So I joined the group that night with the intentions of introduce myself and talk a bit about my foundation, my passion to improve the lives of lung cancer patients and make a donation to the club. The club members was so very gracious to let me post my event on their FaceBook page and never once complained about my obsession in doing so. The group introduced themselves and then allowed me a few minutes to talk.
As the evening unfolded the group began their year end election of officers. They didn’t have a social media/webmaster lined up so I volunteered to take the social media piece for them. I was a social media director for another nonprofit plus my own and thought, “What’s one more FaceBook page to support?” I paid my dues for the upcoming year and returned home. A few days later my phone rings and it was [Club President] Ryan Goebel. Ryan asked if I would mind holding the Secretary’s position. He wasn’t able to find anyone to hold that seat. I said any way that I can help was fine with me and that is how a non runner became a Board Secretary and member for the oldest active running club in the State of Maine.
If you are reading this and not a member yet I encourage you to come to one of our meetings on ZOOM. I have enjoyed serving as Board Secretary these last several months. The members are really fun, creative and friendly. I know you will enjoy the group as much as I have.
If you are interested in learning more about Free ME from Lung Cancer and our upcoming virtual Save Your Breath and virtual online auction please visit us at freemefromlungcancer.org or call me at 207-215-9035. I hope to see you at our next board meeting scheduled for November 10th at 7pm.
Deb Violette, Board Secretary for Central Maine Striders
Be sure to check out our club newsletter for a discount code good for $10 off entry into the Save Your Breath 5k.
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