Each year during the holidays, Lisa and Jeff Sepesi of New London, North Carolina, receive a framed piece of art from the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
This original artwork, created by patients battling cancer or a blood disorder, is the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center's way of thanking Lisa and Jeff for their years of faithful support.
Rather than storing these mementos out of sight, Jeff and Lisa created an inspirational room in their home dedicated to honoring the patients, families and staff at the Aflac Cancer Center. The framed crayon drawings and painted handprints are carefully arranged in the room so that visitors in the Sepesis' home can witness the stories of patients bravely undergoing treatment and scientists boldly moving the needle in research.
"We've spent our careers helping people deal with critical illnesses and serious health events, and cancer has been a major part of that," Jeff says. "We have seen how cancer impacts adults, and it seems so much more heartbreaking when it's a child."
Together, the couple has worked for the Fortune 500 insurance company, Aflac, for a combined 54 years. In his 32 years with the company, Jeff has held a number of leadership positions, most recently as a consultant partnering with companies focusing on the health sector. Lisa, a two-time cancer survivor, has served as an Aflac agent for the past 22 years and also works alongside Jeff in his consulting role.
Since 1997, Jeff and Lisa have consistently donated a portion of their commission-based income to the Aflac Cancer Center, giving at the highest level of support, the Circle of Care. They are also members of the Legacy Circle and have designated a portion of their estate to be donated to the Aflac Cancer Center. In addition, the couple made a very personal contribution to dedicate a room in the Aflac Cancer Center in memory of Lisa's brother, Chris Garrett.
"We have always felt like there was no better way to pay it forward than by using our dollars and encouraging our sales team and others throughout Aflac to support the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center," Jeff says. "We love knowing we have played a small part to help cure kids with cancer and blood disorders."