Betsy Lambert began her tenure as a parent advisor in 2008. She works closely with the Patient Family-Centered Care (PFCC) Program as the lead parent mentor for the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Parent Mentor Program. Program staff match parents of newly diagnosed patients with parent mentors and help eligible parents become mentors.
Lambert’s son was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) in 2007. He completed three years of treatment at St. Jude. Lambert joined the Patient Family Advisory Council in 2008 and began her work on PFCC projects.
Along with other parent advisors, she recognized the need for parent-to-parent support as an important element of care for parents of children with life-threatening diseases, a realization that led to the creation of the Parent Mentor Program.
“I had never heard of PFCC before being introduced to the Parent Family Advisory Council in 2008, but I knew I wanted to provide support and comfort to parents who are starting this journey,” Lambert says. “This has become the most meaningful volunteer work I have done in my entire life.”
Lambert believes the Parent Mentor Program helps parents face the challenge of caring for a child with pediatric cancer- the same challenge she and her family went through during her son’s treatment. She recommends volunteering to be a parent advisor to many St. Jude parents.
“Other than being a mom to my kids, it’s the most meaningful thing to me, and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do this,” Lambert says.
Lambert enjoys being a mom to her twins, reading and teaching preschoolers. An avid runner, she finished her first half-marathon at the St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend in 2010. She ran to honor her son after he finished treatment. Lambert has run the St. Jude half-marathon every year since then, and she plans to continue the tradition for as long as she can.