Lauren Rubenstein, Community Events Coordinator
Lauren joined BHH (then Great Guys Group) in June 2010, shortly after graduating from Penn State. Lauren felt very connected to the BHH mission because her life had been touched with cancer when her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2008. It was then that her and her family were lucky enough to come across GGG.
What was it like finding out that your mother had cancer?
My mom hadn’t been feeling well for several months and every doctor she went to didn’t seem to know what was wrong. One Thursday night in September 2008, my parents randomly asked me to come home on Friday but didn’t say why. I knew in my gut something wasn’t right. When I walked into my house that cold, eery Friday night, I immediately ran over to my mom and gave her a huge, hold-on-for-dear-life hug. She then sat me down and uttered 3 ugly, awful, unthinkable words that no one should ever have to hear: “I have cancer.”
In that moment, the world stopped.
The shock instantly set in, but as the days and weeks went by, plans were being made for her surgery and chemotherapy treatments that were to follow. I was going back and forth between State College and Downingtown on a weekly basis to be there in any way I could for my mom, dad and 4 younger sisters. From the very beginning of her cancer journey, I vowed to my mom that I would care for her the same way that she cared for every one of her girls.
During that time, my mom dug deep and was stronger than I have ever seen her. Now, nearly five years later – my mom is cancer free!
How did you get involved with BHH?
One day after her chemo, my mom called me at school and was rather chipper and excited, especially considering she just had treatment that day. It brought a smile to my face because I could feel her happy, positive energy on the other end of the line. My mom then told me that the oil company had been at our house earlier that day and she was about to turn them away because we couldn’t afford to pay to fill it up that month. All of a sudden the phone rang.
On the other end of the line was the Great Guys Group. Not only did GGG tell my mom to they were able to fill our oil tank and pay for it immediately (the oil truck literally was still in the driveway), but they also told her they were going to be paying one month of our mortgage and electric bill.
I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t believe that strangers that didn’t even know us were doing such an amazing thing for our family during such a hard, hard time. It was at that moment I truly knew what this organization was all about, and I knew that I had to get involved to thank them for what they did for my family, and more importantly for bringing a smile to my mom’s face.
When I graduated from college, I knew that I wanted to work with Great Guys Group and now it’s going on three years in June that I’ve been their Community Events Coordinator! I love having the opportunity to work with such a talented and dedicated community, our amazing team, and the most importantly the families.
What you love most about working at Bringing Hope Home?
Hmmm…that’s a toughie! There is so much that I love about working at BHH. First and foremost, I love the inspirational and touching work we do in the community to help families battling cancer on a hyper-local level during an extremely hard time. Being able to provide that peace of mind and hope to our families in a time in their lives that can often seem hopeless is powerful stuff. I know this from my own family’s experience.
What do you love to do in your non-BHH time?
I love spending time with my family and friends when I am not delivering hope at BHH! My immediate family consists of my fiancé and BFF, Gord, and our beautiful 10-month old daughter Madison, who I love to dress up and take wayyy too many pictures of, but she’s too cute not too, right?! I also love to spend time with my 4 awesomely fun, grounded and spontaneous sisters Abbey, Paige, Jamie and Margaux, and my parents David (also known as Papa Rubes), and my CANCER FREE Mom, Beth. (I love you, Mom)
Things you don’t know about me are that I am a sucker for live music, hippie dancing, DIY crafts, and bargain shopping.