Elizabethtown College Online Magazine

Lives of Service – Amy Huck ’85


Amy Huck ‘85 shares healthy dose of motivation

When Amy (Straub) Huck ’85 transferred to Elizabethtown College from Penn State’s main campus in the fall of 1982, she hoped to join the women’s basketball team and play for then-coach, Yvonne “Yonnie” Kauffman. However, she soon realized a medical condition wouldn’t allow it. True to her life philosophy, she took it in stride.

“I decided that, although I couldn’t be the best person ON the team, I could still be the best person FOR the team,” said Huck, who accepted the team manager role. To this day, she’s committed to Blue Jay athletics. In April 2013, she planned, coordinated, scripted and emceed the scholar-athlete awards ceremony.

Huck earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and led successful careers in marketing and finance at Highmark and its subsidiaries; she retired in 2011. It was in her years in healthcare that she found her true service calling. A self-described “professional volunteer with a passion for patient advocacy”, she served as the past (and youngest) president and ambassador to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International—cause that is particularly close to her heart.

Huck, who has had insulin-dependant type 1 juvenile-onset diabetes for more than 40 years, understands the expense of healthcare and is a strong patient advocate and tireless promoter of patient responsibility. She also is a member of a patient advisory board at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center where she developed the “Diabetes Playbook,” a resource for young people who are negotiating lives with diabetes. Also, Huck is an executive board member of PinnacleHealth Auxiliary where she runs special events including the “Tea for Mammograms,” the mammogram voucher program and an annual fashion show to raise funds for breast cancer research and treatment. Under her leadership, the Auxiliary has raised more than $100,000. She aspires to, one day, become president of PinnacleHealth Auxiliary—and maybe even of the world as she once thought as a child.

“I thought volunteering meant being president of the world. I already had service in my heart,” said Huck, whose grandmother instilled in her, at an early age, the value of giving back to society.

Her deep commitment to patient responsibility is a result of her own health challenges—in addition to managing diabetes, Huck was diagnosed with cancer in 2007. She characterizes her three years of treatment as “a fog which I came out of in 2010.”

“I created my own personal patient record, taking responsibility for my own health and well-being,” she said, adding that she encourages everyone to do the same. “If you don’t advocate for yourself, no one else will.”

Cancer-free for more than five years now, Huck’s energy and enthusiasm is infectious as ever. In May 2013, she showed up, at as a guest judge for the ’80s-themed Mr. E-town contest, decked out in retro attire, complete with red leather pants and a single white-sequined Michael Jackson glove. She hooted and hollered and cheered on the contestants, much like she did along the sidelines of the basketball court decades earlier.

Some things—and people—never change.

Do you know someone—student, staff or faculty member, an alum from the College who is living a life of service? Perhaps it’s you! We would love to hear your story. Please submit ideas to magazine@etown.edu.