April is Volunteer Month. All month, our wonderful cancer volunteers will share why they give of themselves, in their own words.
Not long after my husband’s stage IV colon cancer diagnosis eight years ago, I decided to volunteer at the Immanuel Cancer Center. I will never be able to pay back the caring professionals at the clinic for all they have done and continue to do for our family, but I am trying. As a retired teacher—I retired in 2010–I knew I’d be happy volunteering somewhere I could have contact with people and could reach out to them and help them.
It’s gratifying to visit with patients and family members, serve them snacks and beverages, and provide a warm blanket, just to name a few of my volunteer duties. I hear the kind reply “thank you” more than when I taught middle school. This winter I also crocheted 150-plus caps for patients—a fun way to connect one of my hobbies to volunteering. One goal as I interact with people on their cancer journey is to bring a smile to each patient’s face. A positive attitude, smiles and laughter have helped in our family’s journey; I can only hope likewise for those I help.
- Lorrie Schrad