At WeWork, connecting people touched by cancer

Emily Keeton says that once you are diagnosed with cancer, you’re suddenly part of a community. At first you need a shoulder to lean on. Later on, you’re the one supporting others.

“I still get calls every few weeks,” says Keeton, a breast cancer survivor. “They need someone to refer them to doctors, tell them about side effects they might have, or let them know about the best place to get a good wig.”

Keeton, WeWork’s head of mergers and acquisitions, says she is always looking for ways to connect with other people affected by cancer—whether they’re survivors, patients or caregivers.

So when she heard that New York City’s WeWork Tower 49 was holding a fundraiser for the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade, she was sold. She enthusiastically agreed to speak at the event, which will raise money for the Avon 39, a two-day, 39-mile walk through Manhattan that ends with a triumphant walk across the Brooklyn Bridge to the finish line.

The fundraiser—called Join the Fight: Breast Cancer Stops Here—takes place at 6 p.m. on September 7 at WeWork Bryant Park. Open to everyone, it will feature plenty of food and beverages in a signature shade of pink.

The event was the brainchild of WeWork Community Lead Karly McCabe.

“My grandfather was affected by cancer, as was my grandmother,” says McCabe. “But that’s not really the reason I’m doing this. Raising money for cancer has been something I’ve done since I was in high school. It just seemed like a great way make a big difference in people’s lives.”

The Avon Breast Cancer Crusade is a member at WeWork, so it made sense that McCabe and the team there would throw a fundraiser. Their goal is $3,800, enough to sponsor two walkers in the Avon 39.

Keeton has even bigger things in mind. She says she accepted a job at WeWork because of its commitment to building community.

“WeWork is so good at bringing people together,” Keeton says. “I’d love to see us use our spaces and our technology as a way of connecting people touched by cancer.”

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