Giving Back as a Volunteer: Spotlight on Jeanine Monzel
When we sat down to meet OHC volunteer Jeanine Monzel at our Eden Park location, we had to wait while she gently pushed a wheelchair-bound patient to the car, comforted a waiting patient in the lobby, and paused to say hello to everyone she passed. It wasn’t unusual.
Her positive attitude and life experiences made her a natural for the volunteer role, says Julie Chamber, OHC office manager. “She is kind, patient, and helps calm many patients going through chemotherapy for the first time.”
Jeanine has first-hand experience with fighting cancer. Since her original 1985 diagnosis, she has moved to Cincinnati from Arizona, continued to work and travel, greeted grandchildren, said goodbye to a cancer-stricken son, and served as campaign treasurer for another son, Chris Monzel, Hamilton County Commissioner. She’s also fought her own battle with cancer more than once.
She became part of the OHC family in 2001, when she was diagnosed with metastatic cancer of the bone. Jeanine knew after meeting Dr. Randy Drosick, OHC medical oncologist, for the very first time that he was the physician she needed. “He is honest, direct, likes to joke, and made me feel like I was part of my treatment decisions,” she said. “He listened to me.”
She also didn’t hesitate to accept our invitation to volunteer at Eden Park. Keeping busy (and positive) is not new to this woman, who looks so much younger than her stated age of 74.
“When you give, you receive,” she said. “I love to help others and keeping busy helps you not focus on yourself.” And, although Jeanine is now receiving chemotherapy once again, it has not slowed her down. Patients are often surprised to see Jeanine volunteering one day and receiving treatment the next.
“I can help comfort those who are going through treatment and also comfort those who have lost a loved one from cancer,” she said. “Neither group is one we’d choose, but it is how we choose to deal with it that makes the difference.”
Her beautiful smile, infectious energy, and, yes, years of cancer treatment and uncertainty have made Jeanine an invaluable member of the OHC team she fondly refers to as her “second family.”
Join the OHC family! Our volunteers, like Jeanine, provide immeasurable comfort and support to patients, caregivers, and staff. To learn more, please call 1-800-71-4674 or email us here.