Why I Support the American Cancer Society
(some content adapted from my book: “We Can: The Executive Woman’s Guide to Career Advancement”)
In July 2006, at the age of 45 years old, I heard the words: “You’ve got colon cancer, and you need emergency surgery.” I was a healthy eater, active and athletic, with no history of colon cancer in my family. I wondered how this could happen to ME? The diagnosis shocked me, but I had no choice I rose to the occasion. This was not going to take me down. I even resigned from my high stress, demanding job. During cancer treatment, I stayed physically fit to help the fight against the cancer in body. My cancer journey led me to my ultimate goal: changing the way cancer was treated in my lifetime. With new treatments on the horizon, including cell therapy and immunotherapy, I wanted to be involved by working with the companies developing the products. By leading an executive search firm (Toft Group), I could help them get their products to market more quickly.
As women, we need to invest in ourselves in our relationships, in our health, and most of all, in our dreams. I have dedicated my life to making a difference for the world and for other people. And it’s been the most joyful thing for me to put my focus forward facing rather than on myself. Which makes partnership with the American Cancer Society ResearcHERS initiative such a great fit for me. ResearcHERS gives women the platform and the opportunity to help raise funds for some of the country’s most exciting cancer research projects led by women. ResearcHERS is a program for women fundraising to support women-led cancer research and sustain careers. Women make invaluable contributions to cancer research yet are unrepresented in research leadership. As the leading nonprofit funder of cancer research in the country, American Cancer Society (ACS) can sustain women-led cancer research, bolster the careers of female researchers, and help to support a more robust pipeline of women in cancer research leadership roles but the ACS cannot do this without our help. THIS is something I feel very passionate about!
By sponsoring me in my ResearcHERS campaign, either by making an online donation on this page (or by check or DAF), or in-person at the ACS Magic of Hope San Diego Gala at Vintana on October 23rd where I will be honored as the 2021 Celebration of Life cancer survivor, you will support the American Cancer Society and directly invest in the work of women in a STEM-related field. Thank you for your friendship and generosity!
More about me and my "WHY?":
To date, my career can be divided into four exciting 10-year chapters: (1) A decade leading medical laboratories, (2) 10 years as the chart-topping sales gal in commercial biotech roles, (3) 10 years building an executive search firm to change the way cancer is treated in my lifetime, and (4) Co-Founder of We Can Rise! I plan to spend the next chapter using my experience to help women elevate their careers while working with men to build stronger companies. Together, We Can Rise! I know from firsthand experience that the most competitive companies really want to employ women for a number of reasons. And there’s a talent shortage. I believe that helping women fast-track their careers is the answer. My goal is to build a movement that helps women - and men who care about women to change the world. This is why the American Cancer Society ResearcHERS campaign to fund females leading cancer research is perfectly aligned with my own mission.
Growing up as a proud Michigander, (go Green!) I developed a strong Midwestern work ethic, thanks to many positive role models in my family. Today, I’m an adventurous dog-mom, a joyful exercise and yoga enthusiast, and a passionate global citizen honed by my love for international travel. I’ve lived all across the beautiful USA, from Michigan to San Francisco, from North Carolina to Oahu and Kauai, but I proudly call San Diego my home.
My Favorite Quote
“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” Steve Jobs