Volunteer Spotlight: June 2018
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Kris Miller is one of our veteran volunteers. In her own words, here is a little bit more about Kris:
Diagnosed on: March 2005
Stage: 2B Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
June 2007, Björklunden, Baileys Harbor
Started volunteering: 2008
Favorite Retreat Elements: I really don’t have one favorite element; it’s all the elements woven seamlessly together that create the whole, amazing experience. I’m very grateful for the passion and dedication of all the past staff and volunteers who made the curriculum a healing work of art, and the current staff and volunteers who are committed to continuing the mission of BCR.
Most memorable retreat experience: There have been so many memorable moments. At one retreat on Sunday morning, several ladies entered the gathering space and announced they were changing the names they chose during the name game. The new names embodied the transformation these women had experienced during retreat. At another retreat, after the Sufi dance on a clear, sunny day on the deck at Björklunden, one of the ladies was slowing beating a drum and a hawk started circling overhead. She then explained the significance of the hawk in the Native American culture. After the Sufi dance at another retreat, the ladies joined together in a line, arms on each other’s shoulders, and spontaneously started singing It’s a Joy to Get to Know You. I am also deeply inspired when I witness the courage and raw emotion the ladies display when they share their stories and again during the Difficult Feelings discussion. And my heart is so full when the ladies look like a huge weight has been lifted from their shoulders when they leave retreat.
Background: My background is in science, nursing and parent education. I’ve had quite an assortment of careers. More than anything, I love working with small groups and one-on-one, listening to people’s stories and giving them the space and support to feel heard.
Free Time Fun: I enjoy bike riding, hiking, experiencing the fantastic music of local Door County musicians, spending time with my husband and our two grown daughters and son-in-law, anxiously awaiting the birth of our first grandchild in July, spending special time with dear friends and extended family, and sharing memories with my 90 year old mother.
Other Volunteer Roles: In the past, I was active in the National Breast Cancer Coalition and on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Coalition, advocating for legislative policies, education and research that would benefit women with breast cancer. I was a community partner for 5 years in the University of Wisconsin’s Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program, and I’ve been a consumer reviewer of scientific grants for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program. I’m currently a research advocate for the UW Carbone Cancer Center Breast Cancer Advisory Network and on the Board of the Sue Baldwin Fund, a Door County nonprofit that provides financial assistance for local people with breast cancer (including paying tuition for Infinite Boundaries Retreats