So what do people who work in helping professions do on their weekends? They volunteer their time to help out others, of course! In our case, it was an amazing bunch of radiation therapists who gave up their Saturday morning to come on over to Choose Hope and take part in a cold Wisconsin outdoor photo shoot.
One of our own, Karen, was a radiation therapist for many years before being diagnosed with breast cancer. After chemo and radiation were finished, she made some life-altering decisions – one of which was a change in career paths, bringing her to Choose Hope. While looking for some friendly faces to photograph, Karen reached out to her friends and past coworkers, and they all readily agreed to come over and help us out.
We had a great time pairing each of the therapists with our inspirational product line and taking plenty of photos while mixing in some coffee, mimosas, and bakery goodies. We all bonded over a shared love for the cancer community and our need to make a difference.
Meet Our Radiation Therapists
Jeremy has been a therapist for 3 years. He always knew he wanted to be in the medical profession in some capacity, but what really nailed it for him was doing an initial 40-hour rotation at a local radiation facility here in Madison. He especially enjoys getting to know his patients over time, connecting with them in an ongoing way. He makes a point to chat with them about their families, outside interests, and even what’s happening for the weekend – taking them away from cancer for just a short time makes all the difference in the world. He is married with his first child on the way and he has a twin brother who is also a radiation therapist!
Megan’s grandma was diagnosed when Megan was in high school. Taking her grandmother to treatment made Megan realize what she wanted to do with her life, so on to college it was. Twelve years later, she continues to love her career and the special people she meets. She appreciates the ability to form a bond over an 8 week period and relishes the time she spends with them.
Jess’ mom was going through treatment for breast cancer when Jess was just 16. Her mom loved her radiation therapist so much that Jess realized this was her opportunity to really make a difference. During her program, one of her beloved classmates passed away from Ewings Sarcoma, so this just served to motivate Jess even more. She loves “being there for my patients during good and bad times. It is a very humbling experience.”
Deb has been a therapist for nearly 32 years and loves every moment of her work. She enjoys helping people and feels very grateful to be there for them during their time of need. “Patients inspire me to be a better person,” she commented.
Ninah always had an urge to be in the healthcare profession. When she discovered this program, she knew it was her calling. She has been working in the field for over 3 years, and while others often remark that it must be a sad job, she comments, “it simply puts your own life in the proper perspective.”
Stephanie was 2 months away from graduating with a degree in medical illustration when she realized she needed to be actively working with people. So she extended her education by 4 years and has now been actively working as a radiation therapist for the past 2 years. “I love putting a smile on someone’s face who is going through something that they can’t control,” she stated.
Sarah has been a therapist for 17 years. Even as a child, she realized that cancer affected everyone’s family, including her own. If she could help even one person on their journey, then that was enough. “My job is the closest thing to being able to have coffee with strangers and even becoming friends,” Sarah stated.
Choose Hope Remains Hopeful
While those of us at Choose Hope have always felt grateful and blessed to do what we do, this morning’s get together brought us a renewed sense of hope – there are so many wonderful people out in this world who really do care about helping others. They constantly give of themselves, and this was humbling for us to see. To the new friends we made this morning, and to everyone who fights to end cancer, thank you for all that you do every day. You all rock!