From POGO employee to POGO volunteer, Susan Grace was a true champion of kids with cancer and their families. On May 4, 2017, Susan lost her own personal battle with breast cancer.
In 1992, Susan started her journey with POGO as an administrative assistant. Over the years, she was the mainstay for POGO, performing such other roles as receptionist, office manager, controller, assistant to the executive director, publicist, event planner, project manager, and even dish washer! She saw POGO grow from just two employees to its present staff of about 60. Susan worked tirelessly weekdays and many weekends and met every deadline with a smile.
Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, and after treatment and surgery, went into remission in 2004. In spite of her diagnosis, Susan considered herself very fortunate and made the most of every day thereafter.
In 2004, Susan received the POGO Companion Award which recognizes those who have made a prolonged and enduring, exceptional and sustained commitment to advancing state-of-the-art childhood cancer control.
Susan returned to POGO in June 2005 until March 2006 as the temporary controller until the organization filled the position permanently.
In June 2006, after 15 years with POGO, Susan resigned and began her second career with POGO as a volunteer. Susan’s overall contributions to POGO are invaluable and include work on POGO’s annual staffing study, infrastructure improvements, and POGO’s legacy database tracking milestones in the organization’s history.
A volunteer par excellence, some of Susan’s happiest days were at St. Bartholomew’s Church in Regent Park (Toronto) where she volunteered in the early-morning Breakfast Program from 1987 until recently. When Susan and her husband relocated to Alcona, on the shores of Lake Simcoe, she refused to even contemplate giving up the Breakfast Program and would rise early every Thursday morning, leaving the house at 3:10 a.m. for the drive into Toronto, arriving at the church by 4:30 a.m. to open the doors and welcome all who were waiting. From there, she would make her way to volunteer at POGO.
A lover of life, Susan was a cheerful, positive and optimistic person, always with a ready smile for everybody.
When Susan relapsed in December 2015, she faced this new challenge with the same positive attitude, truly believing that she was going to once again beat the disease. She was determined to meet her life goals, which included more travel, selling her dream home on Lake Simcoe and settling into a new condo in Toronto.
Susan Grace is a POGO Champion who made lasting, behind-the-scenes contributions that will forever endure across the childhood cancer community and system.