Laura Nelson, of Corpus Christi, joined the Advance Team in 2017 and currently serves on the Events Committee. She recently co-chaired the inaugural Santa’s Elves party in Corpus Christi on Dec. 10, raising $12,000 for MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital. She and her husband, Travis, have two children, Samuel, 5, and Adeline, 2.
What three words best describe you?
Happy, busy, passionate.
How did you become involved with the Advance Team?
I had the privilege to work at MD Anderson on the Development team for three years. A dear friend nominated me when I moved with my family to Corpus Christi.
What motivates you to advance MD Anderson’s mission to end cancer?
Besides the undeniable fact that MD Anderson is the world’s greatest cancer institution and one of the most incredible places to work, my family has been tragically touched by cancer. In 2015, I lost my father-in-law to pancreatic cancer, just five weeks after our first son was born. I understand firsthand what it means to walk through the halls of MD Anderson as an employee and a caregiver. Our whole lives changed as we decided to move to be closer to family and I left my job in the Development Office. Though we had lost such an incredible man in our lives, my grief turned into continued passion to fight for those who are fighting for their lives. As a young mother, I’m aware that we must advocate for those who need it most, our children. I’m especially passionate about fighting children’s cancer and raising awareness of the amazing pediatric cancer research going on at MD Anderson. If I could give money and host an event to raise awareness of every type of cancer, I would. MD Anderson is the most deserving institution.
What do the words “Making Cancer History®” mean to you?
These words are so critical. They mean that I could live in a world where my children have no fear of these dreaded diseases despite our family’s history. Those words mean that we hold in our hands the opportunity to defy nature and use knowledge and science to give life. Those words bring tears to my eyes. I would love nothing more than to see MD Anderson be out of work by completing its mission to end cancer.
What’s been most rewarding to you as a member of the Advance Team?
When I received the letter offering a place on the Advance Team, I sat, crying, with the letter in my hands. To me, it meant that my efforts working at the institution made a difference, and that is honestly all I have ever wanted to do. It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve in this capacity, and my excitement continues to grow for what the future holds.
When you’re not volunteering on behalf of MD Anderson, how do you like to spend your spare time?
I love spending my time at the gym and in the kitchen. Last year, I decided to master the art of the decorated sugar cookie. In my first year, I have gathered over 2,000 Instagram followers who watch my videos and posts detailing my fun cookie baking journey. I love doing anything crafty and creative. You can always find me juggling about 100 things at once, from taking my kids to school and activities, serving on my church’s stewardship team, being an ambassador for Spohn Hospital and finding ways to give back through a new women’s group at our local United Way.