Tracy Hails is a radiation therapist who has worked in Roswell Park’s Department of Radiation Medicine for 14 years. More than a year ago, she and her team started talking about doing something extra for their patients. They decided to dress up in the color of each cancer awareness month.
“It started with cervical cancer. Social media is such a part of everyone’s day-to-day lives that I thought it would be a good place to spread awareness. I remember thinking that if we could make an impact with just one person, then we did something good. If even one woman saw my Facebook post of all of us dressed up in teal and remembered that she needed to go get her Pap smear, then it would be amazing,” explains Tracy. “After that, I thought we couldn’t do just one and not support them all!”
The Radiation team treats patients with all different types of cancers, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t limit their awareness efforts to just one month. Tracy uses both her personal Facebook page and word of mouth to let all her coworkers know which days they should wear a particular color.
“Our team is one big family, and we all love to come together and show our support in any way we can.”
Some of Tracy’s favorite memories revolve around patients noticing the dress-up days. She says it makes the whole team feel great to know they are making their patients happy. “The pictures don’t do justice to how many of us participate in these days. We can’t all get away to take a picture, so often it's just a portion of us.”
Tracy loves working in Radiation Medicine because she and her colleagues develop a special connection with the patients. They spend time with each person on many days over the course of weeks or months. Tracy and her coworkers are there for each patient's ups and downs, so they make every effort to provide a positive, friendly experience. Tracy says that what they give doesn't even come close to what they get back.
“This job reminds us all not to sweat the small stuff in life. Every day we are reminded to appreciate what we have right in front of us. It makes you realize that life can have some tough moments, so the little complaints just aren’t worth the worry.”
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