The value of giving your time
April is Volunteer Month. All month, our wonderful cancer volunteers will share why they give of themselves, in their own words.
My first experience with the Immanuel Cancer Center was in 2003 when my husband was diagnosed with lymphoma and was subjected to a series of chemo treatments. I would take him treats and sit with him until he’d get tired of me and send me home. On one such day an older man in the corner waved at me and said, “If he doesn’t want you, you could talk to me.” So I did.
That day I discovered the value of giving your time to the patients confined to those chairs, and several years later when my husband passed away, I remembered that old gentleman who just wanted to talk to someone. That’s when I decided that this was a way for me to give back—to say thanks for the care and consideration we received in that most difficult time.
A smile, a little humor or some conversation are not cures, but they do help alleviate some of the distress. So I smile, I joke, I talk and I give my time, and in doing those things I have found that the giver benefits as much as the receiver. And so I am a happy volunteer.
– Patsy Jo Nelson
These blogs were written by members of the CHI Health Cancer Care Team.