Giving Back: When Patients Become Volunteers
OHC is blessed to have some of the most wonderful people volunteering at their various locations, and OHC Blue Ash is no exception. Every Friday, patients and staff will see a plate of cookies and the three smiling faces of Betty Romito, Rick Abraham and Sherry Goodin (pictured, left to right). Sherry and Rick are former OHC patients, and Betty is the cookie chef and mom to Anita Logsdon, an OHC treatment suite nurse. Here, they explain why they decided to volunteer and the satisfaction of giving back to other cancer patients.
How did you come to know OHC?
Betty: My daughter works here and one day she said, “Mom, you’re coming with me to volunteer,” and I said, “Okay!” I’m glad because I love it!
Sherry: I was diagnosed with cancer about four years ago and came here for treatment. I saw Betty volunteering and she became my inspiration. I thought, “When I get better, I’m going to come back and volunteer like Betty!”
Rick: I too was a patient here and am now a I’m a cancer survivor. (Rick proudly displays a Cancer Survivor button on his vest.) The nurses were so good to me so I wanted to give back for everything they did for me.
How was your experience as a patient?
Sherry: I was treated so good. That’s why I wanted to give back. When I was told I had cancer, my world halted. Everyone here helped me keep my head up and stay positive through two rounds of it.
Rick: The nurses were so good to me, and gave me a real sense of hope and strength. I wanted to try to instill that same feeling in others going through the same thing. It’s important to stay positive.
Why did you decide to volunteer at OHC Blue Ash?
Betty: As I said, I didn’t really decide! My daughter told me! (Sherry and Rick laugh in agreement.) But I see the patients and I think about what they’re going through, and yet they’re in such good spirits. My favorite thing is to make cookies and bring them every Friday for the patients and the staff. (On this particular day, Betty also brought a cake to celebrate Rick’s 74th birthday.) One lady told me how much her husband loved my peanut butter cookies, so I always made some for him.
Sherry: I wanted to help the patients stay positive. I remember one lady who had the driest sense of humor. She always brought a white tumbler with a large purple “S” on it. So, one day I told her I was going to steal it for myself since we both have first names that start with the letter “S”. And she laughed! At her last treatment, she brought me a tumbler just like hers. I still have it. It’s sitting on my kitchen counter, and every time I look at it, I think of her and smile. I hope I’m making other patients smile like that.
Rick: I wanted to pass on that feeling of hope and strength that the staff instilled in me. And I think staying positive is so important for getting through this. My favorite thing is when a patient says to me, “This is my last treatment.” It makes me smile. I get to smile a lot here!