It’s National Volunteer Week! Today we’re shining a light on Breanna by sharing her story and experience with you.
Hello, my name is Breanna Larsen and I am a twenty-two year old native Texan who loves spending time with my family and friends, going on adventures, playing with my puppies and trying to spread a little sparkle everywhere I go.
I was introduced to Mal de Debarquement Syndrome by my friend Summer. When I was in high school with Summer, we volunteered to help with a MdDS event that her aunt, Terri, was hosting. After that event, I became Facebook friends with Terri and saw through her posts what life with MdDS is like. She introduced me, and all of her other Facebook friends, to what life is like with MdDS and the struggles and challenges people with MdDS have.
As I grew older and matured as a person and with my own experience with diabetes, I felt more compelled to raise awareness for other chronic syndromes, illness and diseases. After working as a Communications intern for a non-profit association and graduating with my Bachelors from the University of Houston, I decided to ask Terri to help with my interview skills, critique my resumé and overall give me some pointers about the professional world in which I was about to embark.
Terri offered fantastic advice and during one of our meetings, she suggested that I might volunteer with the MdDS Foundation volunteer group, to improve my non-profit professional skill set as well as gain new experiences and insights working with a new group of people.
During my time as a volunteer with the MdDS Foundation, I shared social media posts about MdDS and advocated for the rise in awareness and monetary support for those with MdDS. I also collected a list of the top renowned physicians in the United States and sent them letters advocating for them to join in deeper research of MdDS as well as make them aware of the support system that the MdDS Foundation provides to everyone affected by MdDS. My time spent volunteering with the MdDS Foundation’s group of volunteers taught me valuable lessons in philanthropic activities and professional endeavors.
Since I volunteered with the MdDS Foundation, I have accepted an inside sales position at Medtronic Diabetes, a medical device manufacturing and distribution company. I directly work with our diabetes patients and help them transition onto insulin pump therapy. My time volunteering with the Foundation has helped me immensely in my current career interacting with people with chronic diseases.
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