Following in His Father’s Footsteps
Being a volunteer runs in Jason Forstot’s family.
“One of my mentors and heroes, my father, has always been very philanthropic and giving to others. I wanted to follow in his footsteps,” said Jason.
Jason got involved with the American Cancer Society in the late 1990s, volunteering for many different Society programs and events including the Relay For Life® movement.
He wanted to help end cancer and be part of the organization that was leading the effort to finish the fight. With cancer, Jason said, you either know someone who has been directly affected by the disease or are once removed. His father, uncle, and father-in-law are all cancer survivors.
Jason feels that the Society is incredible at helping people and is truly a volunteer-driven organization, which is unique in this day and age.
“I know I’m doing the right thing when I hear the stories of how the American Cancer Society has helped people I know,” he said.
During the past 8 years, Jason has become “more serious” about his role as a Society volunteer, giving it all he’s got.
“150%,” he likes to say.
In late 2011, after moving, Jason walked into the local American Cancer Society office in his new hometown and asked how he could help.
He began helping with the local gala and shortly turned to his local Making Strides Against Breast Cancer® event, attending his state’s Making Strides University.
“I love doing this. I’m extremely passionate about it. We help people, and that’s what it comes down to,” said Jason.
Three years ago, he became the income vice chair for his local Making Strides event, which has raised more than $700,000 just in the last 2 years, he said.
“Everyone involved is an inspiration. It makes my dedication that much stronger,” he said.
In 2012, Jason was asked to serve as the chair for his statewide Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Advisory Team, a role that he felt lucky – and even shocked – to be asked to fill.
At their meetings they ask, “how many people does it take to start a movement?”
“The answer is one. It takes one person taking that one step,” he said.
There are so many wonderful volunteers, Jason said. The more people we get involved in this cause the better. He can’t wait to stop volunteering for his Making Strides event, though, because that means cancer has been defeated.
“The day I put myself out of a volunteer job, now that’s a success,” said Jason. Until then, he will continue to lead the way in the fight against cancer and inspire and motivate those around him.