Breast Friends could not do the important work we do without the support of our guardian angels. Each month we will highlight someone from our community, focusing on an individual who has donated to our mission, gave of their time or shared their expertise
Craig’s Story ~ A Cause Close to His Heart
“Carol was a great teacher, coach, mother and wife,” said Craig Byrd about his late wife. Together, they raised two sons, Cameron and Brett.
Carol taught classes at Cleveland High School and coached the dance team. Craig worked as a financial planner. Building their lives around school sports, the boy’s love of music and vacations in the desert for Spring Break. Tragically in 1997, they heard the words that Carol had breast cancer, and their lives forever changed.
Craig and their sons, 12 and 10 at the time, were by Carol’s side as she battled her cancer. A battle she lost in 1999. The boys channeled their grief and sorrow by writing music about her with, even a song that made the Billboard charts called “I’m Ok.” Craig was left with a hole in his life. He shared, “I felt isolated on an island, like so many husbands do.”
In 2000, Becky Olson walked into Craig Byrds financial planning office. She shared her desire to leave her current employment and co-found a non-profit organization, with Sharon Henifin, a friend and fellow breast cancer survivor. Their mission was to serve women diagnosed with breast cancer, their friends and families; providing a variety of services to meet their emotional needs. Together, Craig and Becky made a financial plan enabling Becky to retire a few years later; thus allowing her to focus her time and energy on her work at Breast Friends. Because Craig saw the commitment Becky had to a cause which was so close to his heart, he made the first significant donation to their program.
To this day, Craig continues to generously support Breast Friends. He has watched with pride as they have expanded their embrace and grown their services. Craig knows the difference their passion is making in the lives of the women they touch. Noting how so many have gone from participants in the programs, to volunteers, to employees; enabling them to give back and find purpose in their journey.
“Craig has quietly and profoundly touched the lives of so many women who may never know him,” said Becky Olson, co-founder.
From everyone here at Breast Friends, a most heartfelt thank you.