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A Tribute to Kay Christensen – An Extraordinary Volunteer

Volunteers are invaluable to the Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation. They help us further our mission, reduce costs, be more efficient and effective, and because of their passion we are able to offer more services to the Sacramento community. Today, we say goodbye to an extraordinary volunteer, Kay Christensen, and thank her for many years of exceptional service to the Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation.

Kay Christensen has dedicated her time, talents and energy to the Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation for the past 12 years. She started when her daughter, Amy Wolfe, was the Board President and she continued long after Amy’s board service was over. “Amy encouraged me to volunteer,” explains Kay. “My own experience with breast cancer had impacted her immensely and she believed strongly in the Albie Aware mission. She wanted me to be a part of it.”

Kay came with a wealth of experience and skills and became the bookkeeper for Albie Aware. “I believed my accounting experience and knowledge was the way I could serve the organization the best,” says Kay. As the bookkeeper, Kay has seen many changes within the Albie Aware organization. “There were times that we didn’t know if we could make the bills,” says Kay. “It has thrilled me to watch the program thrive and grow and how the community has embraced and supported it.”

A True Calling

Kay is not a newcomer in terms of volunteering. She has made volunteering an important part of her life, benefiting numerous organizations including:

  • American Red Cross at the base hospital in Germany
  • Treasurer of the Officers Wives Club (OWC)
  • Girl Scout Leader
  • Civilian Pay Office on post in Japan
  • American Cancer Society
  • Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation

Also, Kay worked for two nonprofit organizations:

A Blessed Life

“I am fortunate that my husband’s career in the Army Air Defense afforded me the opportunity to give of myself to many organizations,” says Kay. “It also allowed me to travel and experience different places and cultures. I have been truly blessed.”

Kay and her husband, Michael, moved 17 times before making their home in Modesto, CA. Some places they’ve lived include:

  • Bitburg Germany
  • Fort Bliss, El Paso TX
  • Pirmasens Germany
  • Presidio, San Francisco CA
  • Darmstadt, Germany
  • Camp Zama, Japan
  • Ft. Shafter, Hawaii
  • Scholfield Barracks, Hawaii

The Road to Recovery

It was when Kay and her husband were living in Japan that she was diagnosed with stage 3 malignant breast cancer. Fortunately, the army gave them a compassionate reassignment and they moved to Hawaii. Her rapidly developing tumor, which included lymph node involvement, required her to undergo a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation. Kay had to take some powerful drugs. As a result, her recovery and recuperation was a long and difficult process.

“In honor of Sadako the Japanese girl who died of leukemia trying to make 1000 origami cranes in order to live, I was honored with 500 cranes strung by American and Japanese Girl Scout troops,” recalls Kay. “They were hung in the oncology clinic where I received my chemotherapy and I was able to give some out to other patients to offer encouragement. I still have some at home.”

 

Our Volunteers Matter!

Kay will retire from her volunteer work with Albie Aware and plans to enjoy more time with her grandchild and family. We are so appreciative of the time, skills, and dedication she has given us over all these years. We wish her the very best!

The Albie Aware Breast Cancer Foundation offers a variety of volunteer opportunities that can easily fit into your lifestyle and schedule. Consider becoming a volunteer with us. To learn more, click here, or contact our office at (916) 927-1592.

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