“You have cancer.” Three simple words, that when put together, shift one’s priorities in an instant.
For Debi Long, 36 year Consumers Energy employee and Lansing Call Center Team Leader, those words not only became reality, but her reason to fight back. With the support of family, friends and co-workers, she endured a lumpectomy, chemotherapy and radiation therapy over the course of a year. Considering her difficult journey, she is humbled today to be cancer-free.
Following the success of her treatment, Long strived to live her life with purpose by making sure others touched by breast cancer weren’t alone. Debi volunteers for American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® to help organize their annual 5K walk. Funds go toward services such as groundbreaking breast cancer research, a 24/7 cancer hotline and early detection awareness.
In 2014, the American Cancer Society provided services to patients including:
- More than 341,000 rides to and from treatment
- 276,000 nights of free lodging
- Guiding 56,000 patients through the healthcare system
- 10,000 one-on-one support services
- Educating 35,000 women on how to manage the appearance-related side effects of treatment
“The most rewarding part of my experience is seeing my Lansing Call Center unite for one goal – caring for the communities we serve,” Long said, “Consumers Energy is behind employees volunteering 120% and will support employee efforts through a variety of grants available.” The Consumers Energy Foundation awards grants on behalf of employees who volunteer for nonprofit organizations. Since 2013, Long and her co-workers have earned $2,000 in grants supporting the American Cancer Society.
She urges others who have not found a cause to find something they are passionate about, and then find a way to make a difference. “If my efforts help one person avoid cancer treatment because a cure was found, it will all be worth it.”
Debi Long’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® team includes her husband Alan Long and other Consumers Energy employees: Elisha Hudson, Stacy Harrington, Stacey Meuche, Bridgette Yoder, Debi Loucks, Julie Gates, Sue Gillies, Michelle Huntley-Herrema, Randi Richards, Ebony Jerome, Kasha Faulkner, Mia Keefer, Raquel Escutia, Samantha Tisdale, Brie Landenberger, Claudia Hernandez and Cathy Jacobs.
Consumers Energy salutes survivors, families and caregivers that provide patients the hope and support needed to fight against breast cancer. Click to join the fight.