Child Life: Volunteering at Loma Linda Hospital
On July 28, 2015, I had an interview to become a volunteer at Loma Linda Hospital, and I had to send two references. They put in a good word for me because within a few days I got an e-mail stating that Loma Linda Hospital wanted to meet and have an interview with me.
The interview process was different from other interviews I’ve had in the past. There were four women and one man (which was me) and it was a group interview. The interviewee went to each of us one-by-one asking us questions like, “Why do you want to volunteer, are you in college or have you graduated college, what are your interests or hobbies and name something in your life that you have overcome.”
When the interviewee asked me why I wanted to volunteer. I paused and looked at her and told her that I was a cancer patient in this hospital when I was a teenager and I want to inspire children and teenagers with my story. When I said that, I felt the energy in the room change and all eyes were on me. It felt good to finally get out of my comfort zone and express what has been inside me for the last few years.
Loma Linda offers many different services for volunteers to choose from. I chose Child Life services because it gives me the opportunity to talk and interact with the children who are going through cancer. The interviewee said I would meet with the children in a play room.
I asked her do the teenagers go to the play room also so I could interact with them. She said the teenagers normally don’t be in the play room, but some do go. I remember when I had cancer, I knew of the Child Life services and volunteers, but I didn’t participate because it was tailored towards children. I asked her if there is any way the volunteers can interact with the cancer patients in their hospital room. She said that there is an isolation training that I would have to pass first and then I could talk to the cancer patients in their room.
When the interviewee asked me about my interests or hobbies. I said that I liked to play video games. She asked me did I prefer XBOX or PlayStation, and of course I said PlayStation.The interviewee asked what kind of games do I like, and I said action-adventure and open-world games. Then she asked me what was one of my favorite games, and of course I said inFAMOUS and everybody in the room had never heard of it. I told them it is a superhero open-world game.
I also told them that I was an inspirational speaker and I wanted to speak to cancer patients about how the game helped me during difficult times. Then I said I feel my story is a superhero story, and it is only right that I share and compare my story to a superhero video game.
It is important to me that I speak about how the inFAMOUS video game franchise influenced me to become the person I am today. The one thing that makes me nervous about talking about inFAMOUS is that people won’t get why I have a strong connection to this game and the main character Cole MacGrath.
In my heart, I know it makes since for me to compare our stories, because I related to the more human side of Cole and that’s what I want to get across to people. I am also afraid of people thinking that I’m using inFAMOUS as a gimmick, which I’m not because it’s more than just a video game to me.
I feel that I would have a stronger connection with teenagers who have cancer, because I was a teenager when I first had cancer. I want to show my PowerPoint Presentation which displays pictures of me during the time I was sick in the hospital and when I became a hip amputee.
I believe the cancer patients seeing my struggle through pictures will give them hope that they could overcome this obstacle in their lives.