Program manager, Kohl’s Conversations for the Cure
Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin
Amberlea Childs was just 28 when she participated in her first Susan G. Komen three-day walk event. The walk ignited her passion for the organization and she would eventually go on to volunteer as a breast health educator, but what she didn’t know is that at the age of 36 she would be diagnosed with breast cancer herself.
Childs has been educating the greater Milwaukee community about breast health and screening recommendations for nearly 15 years, first as a volunteer breast health educator, and the past five years in a full-time capacity as program manager for Susan G. Komen Southeast Wisconsin’s Kohl’s Conversations for the Cure.
She travels to schools, churches, businesses, community centers and health fairs throughout southeastern Wisconsin to educate women and men on becoming active participants in their health and the importance of getting screened.
She works to dispel myths about breast cancer, recruits and trains volunteer breast health educators, and has formed several new partnerships with community organizations to reach new audiences.
At the time of her own diagnosis, Childs had been a breast health educator for almost 10 years, talking to people in the community about knowing their bodies, knowing the symptoms and getting screened.
When she was diagnosed, “I was very aware that something was very wrong,” Childs said.
One in every eight women will get breast cancer in her lifetime. Kohl’s Conversations for the Cure, a partnership between Komen Southeast Wisconsin and Kohl’s Cares, has educated more than 15,000 people in southeastern Wisconsin. Childs has personally impacted more than 4,000 individuals through her work.
At least a third of those people have gone on to get a breast cancer screening, many of whom were actually diagnosed with breast cancer earlier than they would have been without Childs and the outreach services they received from Conversations for the Cure.
Today, Childs is happy and healthy and feels much more in control of her life, she said. Her personal breast cancer story has helped her reach out to others in similar situations.