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#GiveAllYear: The Promise of One

GiveAllYear Matt Propst for Komen "If something you can do can help just one person or life, wouldn’t it be worth it?” That’s the question Matt Propst, a manager of compliance audit and review in Internal Control and Reporting at Arkansas Blue Cross and Shield, asks himself after 14 years of volunteering with the Arkansas affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Even though a lot has changed for Matt since 2003 when he first got involved, the answer is still “yes.” He married Erin, the woman who encouraged him to sign up for his first Three Miles of Men event. Blown away by the emotion and event, Matt shared Erin’s devotion to the cause for years, not knowing she would later battle cancer herself.

“Erin was deeply involved in the Komen organization. It meant a lot to her,” Matt said. Erin passed away from cancer nearly two years ago, but Matt’s commitment to the Susan G. Komen vision – a world without breast cancer –remains steadfast. “I will continue to do this because I believe in the cause and I know she did too, and that means a lot to me.”

Over the years, Matt’s role has grown from spectator to leader, serving as board vice president, president and the head of several committees, including the development committee which he presently resides over.

His presence and contributions have helped the organization grow. He’s helped kick off two of five new board committees and was part of an effort to develop a new structure for the board of directors. To grow funding, he helped merge the Texarkana affiliate with the Arkansas Affiliate in Little Rock, and added a new race in Jonesboro. He’s currently working with other board members to develop a social media strategy to further encourage engagement and donors.

His unwavering willingness to show up for television and radio interviews, tailgate and pre-race parties, and several monthly meetings over the years has made him a standout volunteer. This year the national Susan G. Komen Foundation honored him with the Promise of One Award for his “extraordinary efforts.” Modestly, Matt just believes that if you find something that moves you, take action. In 2003, he was moved by the encouragement of a girlfriend. This year, it’s the memory of his late wife and the many friends and relationships he’s developed along the way.

The relative survival rate for women diagnosed today with early-stage breast cancer is 99 percent. Inspired, the Susan G. Komen Foundation has set a bold goal: reducing the current number of breast cancer deaths in the U.S. by 50 percent by 2026. Matt will be taking action this weekend with others to make this goal a reality. If you could help just one person beat it, wouldn’t you? That’s the true promise of one.

About Susan G. Komen Arkansas

Komen Arkansas helps raise money for breast cancer detection, education and outreach in 63 Arkansas counties. Since 1992, Komen Arkansas has invested more $16.2 million for local breast health agencies and organizations. Seventy-five percent of funds stay local, while the other 25 percent goes to the national organization in support of research for a cure.

There’s still time to register for the Little Rock race. Be bold. Be fearless. Be more.