“In recognition both of her invaluable help while serving on Hayven’s Business Advisory Board, and of the synchrony of her particular skills with our needs at this point in our growth, Christine has agreed to join Lori Donovan, Katie Saunders and me in advancing Hayven’s current priorities: relationships and fundraising,” announces founding CEO Carole Schabow.
“Christine earned my vote during our collaboration on the Capital grant,” adds Katie. “She demonstrated an incisiveness, poise, and rare talent for articulating complexities that made all the difference to our success at securing a grant from such a prestigious organization. I quickly relaxed as she capably took the lead during a crucial discussion with Capital’s executive decision-makers.” (For more about this grant, see our announcement on 4.4.14.)
Christine’s ease with executives dates back to the early years of her career, when she was the Regional Employee Representative for America West’s East Coast stations, meeting regularly with senior executives and the airline owners to advocate on behalf of employees working for a non-union airline. “Having worked in the airline industry with Christine for upwards of 5 years, I repeatedly witnessed her consistently exceptional people skills, strong work ethic, and mature judgment,” says Carole. “For these reasons and for her other professional achievements since our airline days, she’s partnering with me to head our major gifts drive.”
As important as Christine’s talents and accomplishments are, her experience as a cancer co-survivor gives her an added insider perspective. “My father is a prostate cancer survivor, and my grandpa was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma back in the early ‘90s, dying within 3 months due to lack of knowledge and lack of access to information,” Christine reveals. “So I understand firsthand the helplessness, hurdles, and ripple effects a cancer diagnosis has on the entire family. My commitment to Hayven is fueled by an impulse to turn that helplessness into a positive by helping others.”
Christine has also experienced the no-less-piercing pain to co-survivors when close friends are struck. “I still tear up when I remember the day in 2004 when Carole called me with the news of her breast cancer diagnosis. Ugh!” Dropping everything, Christine flew to Los Angeles to be with her friend prior to surgery.
“It’s impossible to express how meaningful it was to have Christine there during that scary countdown,” Carole recalls. “I cherish the bike rides, the laughs, the tears, the photos. She listened, we watched movies, we shopped. Neither of us were prepared or knew what to say or do, but we stumbled through the anxiety and the unknown together.”
Because cancer isn’t a mere theoretical to either woman, but an up-close personal passage, Christine and Carole’s shared experience as a co-survivor and a survivor is infusing their work with Hayven. Their friendship is a model of what Hayven aspires to be: A friend in the eye of the storm and an antidote to the isolation and fear that are usually part of a cancer journey.
Christine’s willingness to help didn’t stop when Carole was declared cancer-free. “Launching Hayven has been a lengthy process, and Christine has been there from the ‘we can do better’ idea/discovery days,” says Carole. “She’s been an ongoing sounding board and strategist: from helping to name Hayven to, more recently, exploring fundraising options like creating a digital wall to memorialize those who’ve been lost to the disease. Her fingerprints are everywhere.”
In addition to her role in securing the grant from The Capital Group Companies Charitable Foundation, Christine has been one of our most generous individual donors in the past 12 months. The board of directors is pleased to welcome her and excited at the prospects for Hayven with her at the table.
Cancer isn't a mere theoretical to either Christine or Carole. Their friendship is a model of what Hayven aspires to be: A friend in the eye of the storm.