“I am very blessed. Regardless of what happened, God helped me to get through all of this. And I believe in my heart that God will not give you anything that you cannot handle. He gave me Jim. Jim got me through every single day of this past year.”
We asked four cancer survivors — all Roswell Park volunteers — to recall how they felt when cancer interrupted the holidays, and to offer coping strategies for patients and their loved ones who are going through the same thing this year.
If you own a dog, you understand the joys of canine companionship. But did you know that your four-legged friend could hold the power to heal? Research shows that pet therapy dogs help cancer patients cope with treatment, manage side effects and improve quality of life.
For nearly four years, a statue bearing the likeness of a beloved Roswell Park volunteer has welcomed visitors to our Kaminski Park and Gardens, located outside the main hospital. Monty, Roswell Park’s first-ever therapy dog, serves as a reminder of the compassionate power of animals, now memorialized in the form of a custom statue.
One day Barb Murak stopped by the waiting room of the Urology Clinic at Roswell Park and noticed several guys flipping idly through Field & Stream magazine, heads down, as they waited for their appointments. She had an idea.
Remember how much fun you used to have with a coloring book and a box of crayons? Molly Gold, one of six Artists-in-Residence at Roswell Park, says adults are often surprised when they rediscover the activity. “People say, ‘Oh, my gosh, this is so relaxing! I haven’t colored since I was ten years old.’”
Although Porsche never went to medical school, she sure knows how to make cancer patients and their families feel better. Porsche, a 6-year-old Goldendoodle, is a new face at Roswell Park. Roswell’s furry friend visits a few times a month as part of the Institute’s Pet Therapy Program, made possible in part by generous donations. During her visits, Porsche trots around the hospital, calmly visiting anyone in need of a pick-me-up, providing unconditional love and a wag of her tail.
Musicians Craig Hodnett, Daniel McCue and Peter Hassett have been volunteering at Roswell Park for more than six years! You can find The Buffalo Guys in the Roswell Park lobby every Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. playing some of their favorite songs and cracking jokes.
Every month, we'll be hearing from a Roswell Park staff member who manages one of the quality-of-life programs for our patients. This month Chris Wesley, Volunteer Services Administrator, talks about the Arts in Healthcare program.