April is Volunteer Month. All month, our wonderful cancer volunteers will share why they give of themselves, in their own words.
I was diagnosed with cancer in January of 2008; it was unexpected because I’d been a pretty healthy and active 51-year-old. My experience with my health care providers during my chemotherapy and radiation treatments was amazing—they were such a caring and compassionate group. Once I had mostly recovered I realized that I wanted to do something to give back to the people that I had formed such a bond with during treatment. I decided that volunteering would be a good way to give back as well and it became the last part of my cancer treatment.
I especially formed a bond with the staff at Midwest Cancer Legacy and was able to donate my time there. My volunteer experience involves talking to patients and their families, supporting them and offering any insight I can toward their cancer journey. I also assist the staff with some light clerical duties and any other odd jobs I can do to make their day a little easier.
I am also fortunate to work for a very good company that supports its employees who volunteer their time to non-profit organizations. Union Pacific donates $250 for every 40 hours of time I volunteer, up to $500 a year. We were able to take this money and assist patients who needed help with groceries, gas or prescription costs, since even families with good insurance coverage still deal with a lot of out-of-pocket expenses. This journey has been incredibly fulfilling for me and I am grateful I was given the opportunity to spend a little time each week with a wonderful group of staff and patients.
- Bob Larson