As a volunteer in Moffitt’s Infusion Center, Nancy Scheidt can truly relate to the patients she is serving, because on many days she’s a patient herself.
Patients come to Infusion to receive chemotherapy, IV medications, blood and other transfusions. There are plenty of days where Nancy goes in for chemotherapy, and after having her IV removed, she gets up, cleans off her chair, grabs a bite to eat and heads down to clock in for her volunteer shift. Then she heads right back up to Infusion to lend a helping hand to patients just like herself. Diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2011, she was already donating her time in the community, but after receiving treatment at Moffitt, decided to give back as a volunteer.
“I chose to be placed in Infusion because I feel like that’s the place where I could really relate,” she says. Nancy knows firsthand the comfort that comes from seeing a familiar face, and she makes it a point to personally interact with the patients she encounters. “When I approach a patient, I always try to make them feel comfortable. I tell them I’m a patient here too, that I’ve been coming here for years. I tell them that everything is okay and it’s going to be just fine. A lot of times people will close up, but when they hear that you’re going through it too, then they can connect.”
The benefits of volunteering are twofold for Nancy. She has the opportunity to interact with patients and help set their minds at ease, but has also made personal connections over the years that have helped support her throughout her own treatment. Sometimes, she says, “I feel like getting cancer has been a real blessing. All the things I’ve been able to do, all the people I’ve been able to meet and have an impact on.”
One thing Nancy wants others to know is that undergoing cancer treatment does not have to consume your quality of life – and she is a prime example of that. On Wednesday, April 26, Nancy was presented with Moffitt’s 2017 Pat Oakes Volunteer of the Year award – an honor well deserved!
Interested in volunteering? Learn more about volunteer opportunities at Moffitt.