Member Spotlights feature interviews with fellow Connect members. Learn more about members you’ve connected with and some you haven’t met yet. Nominate a member you think should share the spotlight.
TERESA: What brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect?
@cindylb: When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had lots of questions and lots of fear. I found many sites with online support services, but Mayo Clinic Connect was the most helpful for me, the easiest to use, and the support and knowledge of the members and moderators helped to inform and sustain me on my journey — and still does.
TERESA: What motivates you to take part in the community?
@cindylb: When my anxiety was at its highest, the Connect site was there for me, day or night — and we all know if you’re going to have anxiety, it’s going to happen in the middle of the night. Having found so much support and understanding from members during those times, it came naturally to me to want to support others who are going through that fear and pain, and share what I can about my experience, hoping to give some calm and direction to others, as well.
TERESA: What about Connect makes you feel comfortable to share and to be open with the community?
@cindylb: The Connect site is effortless to use, which reduces members’ tensions, and the moderators offer great support. The members remain positive and supportive, and knowing the site is connected to the prestigious Mayo Clinic builds trust for me.
TERESA: What groups do you participate in?
@cindylb: I participate in the Breast Cancer group and also the Lung Cancer group (my husband has “cancer of unknown primary” but his doctors are leaning toward lung cancer), and I also just recently joined the Caregivers group.
TERESA: Tell us about a meaningful moment on Connect.
@cindylb: From the beginning, moderator @colleenyoung has been a bright light and beacon of hope for me. She has steered me to other members with whom I can share, has checked in with me regularly and has helped me navigate through my breast cancer. I wasn’t offered any support services during my cancer treatment by my doctors or insurance carrier, but the Connect site is my support team. I feel that Colleen took me under her wing and gave me the support I was missing in my cancer care.
In addition, anytime I reach out to other members to share what I’ve learned so far and am able to help them feel more informed, supported and less fearful, those are rewarding moments for me.
Finding other breast cancer patients who have similar experiences and share their knowledge and insight helps make this journey more tolerable.
TERESA: What surprised you most about Connect?
@cindylb: How easy it is to use and follow and how well organized it is. I don’t find that true of most breast cancer support sites.
TERESA: What energizes you, or how do you find balance in your life?
@cindylb: I’m pretty sure I have no life balance, so let’s skip that! But what energizes and motivates me every day is my wonderful family — my husband of 39 years who was a teacher and impacted so many lives, and my beautiful, talented daughter who has the most incredible outlook on life and unmatched sense of humor.
TERESA: Tell us about your favorite pastime or activity.
@cindylb: I have had a very interesting career in the entertainment industry and was a business owner for 17 years. I can honestly say I started in the mailroom and worked my way up to president.
Currently, I teach piano to both children and adults, and I love passing along my deep love of music to my students.
TERESA: What food can you simply not resist?
@cindylb: I can’t resist peanut butter. I’m addicted.
TERESA: What do you love about where you live or vacation?
I am a crazy old cat lady, and I live in beautiful Colorado (born and raised), and you just can’t beat the weather here … there’s always something for everyone, usually in each day.
My favorite vacation spots are London and the Cayman Islands.