She had already heard those devastating words once. But in 1998, just seven years later, Susan Highsmith Graveline heard them again - "You have cancer".
Three weeks earlier Susan had founded Mothers and Daughters Against Cancer out of a desire to teach her then 8-year-old daughter Alex how to be active and positive in the fight against cancer. She now had to walk that road again but this time with the support of 15 other mother/daughter pairs -the charter members of MADAC.
Since then, under the guidance of Susan, MADAC has raised more than $1 million for cancer-related issues and impacted numerous mother/daughter pairs.
"We've supported Relay for Life since the very beginning, since that's where we got our start. In fact, MADAC created the purple glove dance that now starts all the relays," Susan said. "We've also supported the American Cancer Society, the patient resource navigator at Gwinnett Medical and other organizations such as the Thomas F. Chapman Family Cancer Wellness program at Piedmont. We've provided college scholarships for cancer survivors as well."
Three years ago, MADAC became a Community Foundation fundholder in hopes of growing their giving capacity even more.
"We needed to find a more effective way to let people know about MADAC and also be able to grant requests. We felt that the Community Foundation would best serve those goals so we opened a fund here," Susan said. "Our goal is to grow the fund so we can provide even more grants for cancer-related issues."
"We want make a difference in the fight against cancer on a local level throughout Gwinnett County and the surrounding area."
To donate to MADAC's fund, contact the Community Foundation. For those seeking a grant for cancer-related issues, go to http://files.constantcontact.com/c83c9af0401/6d4c60b6-ba8a-42fa-bd2d-8d0fb2ba0fbb.pdf to download the grant application and guidelines.