Inspire by Example: Volunteer Testimonials

Jo

Patient & Family Services Volunteer, Hillman Cancer Center, Podium

For two years, I have looked forward to Thursdays when it is my privilege to escort new patients to their doctor's appointments. I'm always amazed by their courage, upbeat attitude, and positive response to a simple smile or a cup of coffee. Although I have volunteered in other areas, this position fills my heart with gratitude for the opportunity to feel as though I'm really making a difference.


Courtney

Pet Therapy Volunteer

I am so happy that a pet therapy program has begun at Hillman. My job is to drive and push the elevator buttons. Tillie is the one that works the magic with the patients, their supporters, and the staff. It is a beautiful, rewarding thing to watch every week.” 


Lynette

Patient & Family Services Volunteer, Hillman Cancer Center, 2nd Floor Lunch Volunteer

The experience of being a volunteer twice a week at Hillman Cancer Center has become a unique part of my life. Volunteering is an opportunity to offer patients and their family members a sense of support, comfort, understanding, and respect. The humbling reward for the investment of time and emotional energy given each day is knowing that you've made a difference in their time at Hillman. The patients' gratitude for what we do is abundantly witnessed by their smiles and frequent expressions of thank you. Every day is a new normal for these patients. Hopefully, a volunteer can help ease the worry, pain, or the unknown of that normal on any given day. Being a volunteer is simply...awesome!” 


Judy

Patient & Family Services Volunteer, Hillman Cancer Center, 2nd Floor Lunches & Member of the ACS Wig Program

Volunteering at Hillman is the best thing I do each week; I am continually inspired by all of our patients, and am happy to help them in any way possible. I truly feel that I am a part of the staff on the 3rd floor treatment area, as all the nurses are so kind and helpful. With my own daughter being a young oncologist, I feel my role at Hillman helps me understand her career much better. I am very proud to be a part of Hillman's volunteer team.” 


Abby

UPMC CancerCenter - Upper St. Clair, Pet Therapy Volunteer

Over the years my friends and family who were on the "cancer journey" were blessed to have staff and volunteers who were kind, compassionate and who even brought some laughter during trying times. Volunteering at UPMC Hillman St Clair not only gives me the opportunity to pay it forward, it is also a gift to be able to share my dogs with others. Watching the dogs bring a smile to staff, patients' and their family's faces and seeing how they magically let them shift their focus, even for a little while, is an experience that I am grateful for every time I visit.” 


Bethany

UPMC CancerCenter Natrona Heights, Patient & Family Services Volunteer

I began volunteering at Hillman Cancer Center to help and bless others. However through my experiences, I have found that the patients and their families have been a blessing to me. At Hillman I always felt like there was a purpose for me, that I was doing something very important, no matter what the task was. You become connected to everyone and everything in some way. Commuting each week from Slippery Rock University was difficult at times, so when I heard about the expansion of volunteers to other network sites I was thrilled! I've been able to volunteer a little closer to college and have still stayed connected to Hillman through phone calls, visits from the coordinator and monthly newsletters. I could not be more thankful for the opportunity to volunteer.” 


Rohan

Hillman Cancer Center, Float Volunteer

Volunteering at Hillman Cancer Center has been one the most rewarding experiences I have ever had the opportunity to engage in. The patients at the Center are going through a difficult time during their lives, and I am glad that I am able to make some small positive change in their life. As a float volunteer, I have been at many different positions, and it has been quite an experience. I love the feeling I get every day when I go to Hillman, I will have something new or different to do - whether it is rounding the (patient) floors with a cart of goodies, providing lunches, making cards, or greeting new patients as they enter the Cancer Center, I am proud that I can make some small difference in the lives of the patients and attempt to ease them as much as possible during their time at Hillman Cancer Center.” 


Izzy

Patient & Family Services Volunteer, Hillman Cancer Center, Lab Volunteer & Lunch Volunteer

I am very grateful for the opportunity to not only be able to volunteer at the cancer research lab, but also to serve lunch and meet all the incredible people who are receiving treatment at the clinical area. Knowing that I made a positive impact on someone’s life, even if for a brief moment, is an emotionally enriching experience that cannot be matched by any other.” 


Amy

Hillman Cancer Center, Pet Therapy Volunteer

There is nothing in the world like the feeling of giving back and helping others ! I have been a weekly Pet therapy Volunteer since 2013. Coming to Hillman for Pet Therapy is a highlight of the week for me and my Newfoundland dogs. When a UPMC Volunteer Coordinator came to my dog obedience class looking for recruits for the newly created Pet Therapy Program, I could not get started fast enough. I knew that Hillman was where I wanted to go. After having received excellent medical care and sincere compassion and caring for my own cancer diagnosis , I knew that this place was truly very special indeed. As a UPMC Employee, Volunteer and former HCC patient , I take great pride in and give thanks for all of my UPMC roles.” 


Jan

Hillman Cancer Center, 2nd Floor Pod & Gumberg Family Resource Center Volunteer

My initial reason for volunteering at Hillman was influenced by my own experience as a patient. During my treatment at Hillman, I found the staff (my doctor, nurses, medical assistants) to be incredibly supportive and, in turn, wanted to be supportive of and helpful to other patients while they navigate their medical challenges. Seven years later I have met some wonderful people and continue to be impressed by the courage of the patients and the devotion of the staff to their patients. Volunteering at Hillman has been a gratifying experience.”