Abbey is the latest member of the Dreams2Live4 family. Over just a 4-week period, she has worked with some of the most renowned journalists in Australia, secured some incredible donated prizes, put her writing skills to the test for our ‘collection of dreams’, worked on her first big, successful event, been the ‘grammar star’ of the office and has made us all super proud with her lasting contribution to Dreams2Live4. Travelling all the way from Charlotte in North Carolina, Abbey has been a vital part of the team and we’re not sure where we would be without her contribution in these few weeks! No task has proved too difficult and she has handled every challenge with grace and great maturity. Thrown in the deep end, she started off with a bang, working frantically on our Lunch with David Gyngell event. Thank goodness she is a fast learner! We are so grateful for her intelligence, motivation, talent and dedication. Everyone in the Dreams2Live4 office are so sad to see her go, and wish her all the luck and success in the world for her future. But before she leaves, we first wanted to ask a few questions about her experience with Dreams2Live4…
What motivated you or inspired you to intern at Dreams2Live4?
When I decided to do the Boston University Sydney Internship Program, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do for my internship. Kerry Seymour-Smith, an active and incredible Dreams2Live4 supporter, was my internship advisor and when she called to place me in an internship she mentioned D2L4 and I was hooked! I loved the idea that I would be able to give back while I was in Australia and feel as though I was a part of something bigger than myself! After she called, I sent her an email as quickly as I could explaining why I wanted to join Dreams and how being a part of such an incredible organization would be an honor. Luckily, it worked and I am so thankful!
Was there one dream that stood out for you in particular?
I was able to accompany Jacqueline of her dream to meet the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. She was so moved by meeting her favorite team that she was brought to tears. It was then that I realized the true magic D2L4 brings to people’s lives. The Bulldogs were so kind and willing to chat and meet Jacqueline, and you could just see how overwhelming it was to have her dream realized and how much it truly meant to her. Seeing the tears of happiness streaming down her face showed me how these dreams can truly be one of the most special moments of a dreamers life. Although I am from America, and can honestly say I have never watched a Rugby game before I came to Australia, I am now a huge Bulldogs fan because of Jacqueline!
What has been the most enjoyable part of your work with D2L4?
The most enjoyable part of my work at D2L4 has been helping with our Lunch with David Gyngell event. Not only was the event itself incredibly fun and exciting, but it was also so great to learn how to plan large-scale events and everything that goes into them. In addition, it was so rewarding to see the guests moved by D2L4 and the stories of our dreamers. Although the ladies in the office and I have always known how special D2L4 is, it is incredibly encouraging to see other people also affected by the incredible work of Dreams.
Do you have any personal experience with cancer? Has anyone you know been impacted by cancer?
Both of my grandfathers have battled cancer recently. While one has been cancer free for 5 years, the other is still fighting it. In addition, some of my very good friend’s mothers have battled breast cancer. Both of these experiences made me want to be a part of Dreams2Live4 even more. As they are all adults, I loved the idea that Dreams2Live4 helps people like them. These people in my life and all of the dreamers constantly inspire me with how they have lived their life and the people whom they have touched. People like them, who are facing the hardest battle of their life, so deserve to have a dream come true and I am so glad I can be a part of the process!
What has been the most emotional/difficult part of the process?
The most emotional part for me is simply reading the dreams and the stories of those who so desperately need the hope that D2L4 offers. One of my main jobs at Dreams was to write up many of the dreams on our website, and while it was an incredible job, it definitely led to a lot of tears! At first, I was a little embarrassed to be in the office crying (totally not normal) but soon realized how special it is to be in a place and a part of something that brings about so many raw emotions and can really tear at your heartstrings. There have been a few dreams that everyone in the office has read about and the entire office turns into a basket of tears! But wow, am I thankful that no one is calloused by the work we do, and everyone still understands the incredible importance of our work. Seeing how much Lou, Meaghan, Annabel, Margie and Olivia really care just reinforces the importance of the work and that it is done in the best way possible. These are all incredible women who care so much and always selflessly work their hardest to care for others!
Would you recommend it to others?
I would definitely recommend Dreams2Live4 to others! I was able to gain so much hands-on-experience in the work place that I would not have been able to get at so many other places. In addition, the atmosphere of the D2L4 office made me love coming into work everyday! Being around such amazing women is infectious and so wonderful. I have learned so much in my short time here and wish that everyone would be able to get the same experience I did!