News Headlines Article

At cancer centers, volunteers are more than just helpers. They’re family.
Washington Post

Families come in all varieties. Some we’re born into; others we get to choose; still others are accidental. Thirty-five years ago, I unwittingly (and unwillingly) joined the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center family when I became a patient there.

On that evening, when I was alone and afraid hours before surgery for metastatic testicular cancer, a young man entered my room in that famous New York hospital wearing a pale blue coat. Alan explained that he was a hospital volunteer, a member of what was then called the “patient-to-patient” program; it took me 30 minutes to realize that meant he was a testicular cancer survivor who had been matched to me.