I’d been working at Vanguard for about eight years when my mother, and best friend was diagnosed with Stage 3 Urothelial Cell Carcinoma. As you can imagine, this turned my family’s world upside down as my mom is the heart & soul of my family unit.
My mom, who had cared for me, my brother and my dad, all (or most of) our lives was now the one who needed care. This was a role no one in my family, except my mom, had really ever done. I knew I would play a key part in my mother’s appointments as my family wasn’t sure what questions to ask or notes to take. Needless to say, having served in auditor-type roles most of my Vanguard career, I was well prepared for the challenge.
During the first quarter of 2017, while my personal life was turned on its head, a new leader was assigned to my team. I was experiencing changes both at Vanguard and in my personal life. My first one-on-one was conducted through video conference from my parent’s house. It was during that conversation I finally said the words out loud…my mom had cancer. Not knowing how my new leader would respond, I waited.
He took a moment and said, “Family comes first,” a concept I heard Vanguard was known for but never experienced firsthand. To my relief, my manager and I worked out a flexible schedule so I could attend all of my mom’s chemotherapy treatments.