Laura Milligan has been a nurse for over 25 years; she has been in a family practice setting for over 15 years. She works in a private, solo practice. She loves her job, doing women’s health nursing, prenatal, well baby/child care, geriatrics, diabetes and more. She has volunteered for different organizations for many years. She has been married to Jeff for 23 years. They have two children and a very large extended family.

When, how and why did you get involved in the BRIGHT Run?
My sister-in-law, Nancy Milligan, died 10 years ago of pancreatic cancer and we wanted to find something that took place around the same time as the anniversary of her death. At first, we were just BRIGHT Run participants/fundraisers, then we started hearing and responding to the call for help. My daughter was spending a lot of time volunteering when she was young and I often accompanied her just for safety. Then I started having fun myself. As a women’s health nurse, I have been the one to “find a suspicious lump” on a patient. I get the need for the BRIGHT Run.

How does your work for the BRIGHT Run fit with your job, if it does?
It totally goes with what I do. I promote women’s health, and talking about the BRIGHT Run at work is natural, fundraising is easy. I have the best patients ever and they always donate. I work Monday to Friday, so volunteering opportunities are limited.

What do you do for the BRIGHT Run?
Basically, whatever event chair Nancy McMillan tells me to (haha!). I think I have volunteered myself to take over managing the parking lot and I listened to the feedback of participants this year (my first in the role) plus made my own observations and have made plans to make it a much smoother, safer experience. I have also helped at festivals where the BRIGHT Run has promotional tables, raised money, worked the registration booth and at kick-off events.

Do you have any personal/family connections to breast cancer?
Thankfully no family connections, just patients.

What are your feelings about the BRIGHT Run?
I think it is a great event. There was an overwhelming feeling of love and acceptance the day of the event when I first joined. I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes several times as people came up to talk about our T-shirts with my sister-in-law’s face on them.
My daughter is taking nursing in hopes of getting into oncology and we plan to stay with the BRIGHT Run as long as it runs. My job keeps me aware of the need for research to find a cure.
We have been with the BRIGHT Run for 10 years and the joke in the family is that out of all those years, when you look at the website after an event, there is never a single picture of any of us. We’re the invisibles!

Editor’s note – keep your eyes on the website 😉