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When a lifelong friend received a breast cancer diagnosis, Stacy Matseas was surprised when that friend told her that many people had “backed off” when they heard – perhaps because they didn’t quite know what to say or do to help.

Stacy didn’t back off; she stepped up – in a big way.

Stacy flew back to New Hampshire from San Diego to be by Victoria’s side as she went through surgery.

“When I got that news, I was young – a total workaholic – and a young friend getting that diagnosis was never on my mind,” Stacy said. “It was a reality check. The experience inspired me, and we became closer, even closer than we had been before the diagnosis.”

Stacy became involved in the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk as a team captain, and, fueled by the desire to strike down the feelings of helplessness and her belief in the work and mission of the Society, Stacy became one of the most successful fundraisers in history, having raised more than $1 million for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

“The first year, I raised $5,000,” Stacy said. “From there, I just remained persistent and passionate and formed a network of volunteers, supporters and teammates, and educated them about what Making Strides is about.”

Stacy’s work with the American Cancer Society isn’t limited to her involvement with Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.

For 10 years, she has volunteered her time as a driver in Society’s road to recovery program, which provides cancer patients with free transportation to and from medical appointments.

The secret to her fundraising success?

“I trust that people are good and want to help; you just need to engage them, and let them know what the impact of the contribution will be,” Stacy said. “When someone gives me a donation, it’s something I take very seriously. I consider myself the steward of that money, and I believe in what ACS has done and can do with the funds raised.”

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