Giving Your Best: Karen Eckert - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Giving Your Best: Karen Eckert

By Jennie Montgomery

This month's Giving Your Best winner is committed to finding a cure for breast cancer. For Karen Eckert, it's personal: her mother-in-law died of the disease.

Karen is on the executive committee of the Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition. She volunteers weekly at Georgia Health Sciences University's Cancer Center and is dedicated to helping others.

Her nominator, Nita Zachow, says Karen works tirelessly with fundraising efforts... and put in countless hours creating a video to promote healty choices for distribution in middle and high schools.

Jenna Lee: "Karen, how do you feel about being nominated for such a special award?"

Karen: "Well, compared to Nita I feel like a real slacker! But I am really touched and very, very honored."

Jenna Lee: "Thank you for all you do in the community and for those people who need your help and need your compassion. You do so much. And what would you like to say to Nita and everyone who helped with this nomination?"

Karen: "Thank you for being there for me. I couldn't have done it without you."

As vice president of the Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition, Karen Eckert helped create and promote a wellness video to help teens reduce their risk of getting cancer. It's been seen by thousands of students throughout the CSRA.

Karen: "We are out at 24 different middle and high schools in the CSRA with educational programs trying to teach teens that a healthy lifestyle can prevent a lot of diseases, and especially cancer. So we're just hoping to get the word out. We were absolutely shocked last year to discover that there were some kids in middle school who had no clue that there was a connection between their lifestyle choices-- what they ate, whether they were active-- and how their health was, absolutely clueless, and we think there's a real need so we're just gonna keep plugging away."

Karen also volunteers at the GHSU Cancer Center, assisting the manager of the boutique-- which carries products specific to cancer patients.

Nita Zachow is president of the BCPC. She nominated Karen for the award.

"They love to see Karen coming. She has an openness about her, a gentleness and caring manner and when they come in to the boutique and they're looking for a wig or prosthesis, or anything like this, she makes them feel comfortable and at ease, so she's there for them."

Friends, like Nita, say Karen has a heart of gold and is always willing to help others.

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