KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Knoxville-based nonprofit Breast Connect has hired its first executive director. Elizabeth Hancy is focused on bringing the group into the future while staying true to its values.
Hancy is a helper and said she is excited to step into the new role. While this isn't her first time being an executive director, this is her first time focusing solely on breast cancer fighters and survivors.
She moved to East Tennessee from Dallas, where she worked for Angel Flight South Central. She worked with volunteer pilots to fly people who needed medical treatment to where they need to go.
"I really enjoy helping people," Hancy said. "It's been part of almost every job. That's been the heart of what I've done."
Since May 1 of this year, she has used that personal pulse to nurture Breast Connect.
"To me, Breast Connect is an opportunity to bring a little bit of light into their lives," Hancy said.
She is Breast Connect's first full-time employee and first executive director.
"I get to start from the very beginning," Hancy said. "I get to help an organization that has been volunteer-based, get the structure and the foundation for us to be able to expand and grow the organization."
While she's growing the community, Facebook page and programs, this former Texan is also soaking in everything to do with the outdoors.
"East Tennessee is absolutely beautiful coming from Dallas," Hancy said. "It's got the green, it's the mountains, the hills."
She is an avid mountain biker, hiker and new paddle boarder.
Her appreciation for the new scenery is coupled with her passion to help others navigate a breast cancer diagnosis.
"I have learned so much in the last two months about this disease," Hancy said. "I never realized how complex it really is."
The timing of her new position aligned with circumstances in her own life.
"We did not have breast cancer in our family, until this past month," Hancy said. "I have an aunt who was diagnosed, and I couldn't have been more grateful to have been part of this organization to be able to help in even just a small way."
While she's reeling in resources for her aunt, she's focused on growing Breast Connect with goals to reach more women with mastectomy kits, deliver more flowers after surgery and find resources for patients going through treatment.
"Whatever we can do to lighten their burden," Hancy said. "That is what is important to me, and what I see as important for Breast Connect."
If you would like to donate to Breast Connect, you can follow the link here.
Donations go right back into the local breast cancer community and help fund so many programs and resources.