The LivingWell Cancer Resource Center is fortunate to have a volunteer advisory council with members who offer their expertise, time and resources to enable LivingWell to continue to provide cancer support programs and services at no cost to the community. The current chair of LivingWell’s advisory council is MaryTherese (MT) Berg. She is a force!
MT was recently at LivingWell and reluctantly agreed to answer a few questions about herself. MT is not one for having the spotlight shined on her, but she is a remarkable human—and has a fascinating fear. Read on …
How did you become involved with the LivingWell Cancer Resource Center?
I got involved with LivingWell before the doors to the first location opened. My kids were still little, but I was feeling called to get involved in a charitable organization in the community. Through Delnor Fitness Center, I met Sue Lyons, one of the founding members of Living Well. When I met Sue, I had no knowledge of her involvement with LivingWell because, at this time, it only existed on paper. I mentioned to Sue my desire to get involved in a community organization. She explained a bit about LivingWell and invited me to a planning meeting. At this initial meeting, I learned about the vision and plans for LivingWell. I knew I had found the right volunteer spot because of my background as a nurse working with oncology patients and their families. So, I really have been with LivingWell since its inception.
How long have you served on LivingWell’s advisory council?
After several years of helping on different LivingWell committees, including the annual Bridge Walk, I was asked to be part of the board of directors. I served on the board for many years, and then was asked, about five years ago, to move up to chairperson. The board is now called the advisory council, and I am the current council chair.
What do you enjoy most about your role on the advisory council?
There are too many things! I enjoy educating community members about LivingWell and helping raise awareness about all of our programs and services. Even though we are now in our 16th year, there is still a lack of knowledge in our community about what LivingWell is and the types of programs offered. The education and promotion process never ceases. I am so proud of what the council has accomplished over the years We have worked together as a team to accomplish many tasks for LivingWell, mostly centered around fundraising and friend raising. It truly takes a village.
How has your career as a nurse helped shape you personally and professionally?
Oh my goodness—has my career helped me! Nursing is much more than a job for me; I really believe it’s a vocation. The career has been a gift and has helped me grow in so many ways, especially with gratitude. Because of my oncology nursing experience, most recently at the Northwestern Medicine Proton Center, I get to see the strength and fragility of patients and families in the midst of difficult diagnoses and treatments and understand how precious life can be. This work helps me be much more grateful, patient and—hopefully— kind.
Fun fact about you?
I have a fear of wind. Weird, right?