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Volunteering During the Holidays

The holiday season is here upon us and there are many children sick in the hospital, and volunteers are needed to lift their spirits.

While volunteering at Loma Linda Hospital this week. I connected with some familiar faces and new hospital patients. The playroom was really busy with at least 12 children from ages about five to 17 years old.

On Monday, Nov. 30th, I was the only volunteer along with the child life assistant in the morning. The playroom was full of kids and we were doing many things from arts and crafts, painting and playing video games.

I connected with one of the teenage patients that I’ve talked before in the playroom. He was excited about his Make-a-Wish Foundation trip that is coming up very soon. I was happy for him because I know what he is going through right now, and this trip will help ease his mind.

I told him about my Make-a-Wish Foundation shopping spree at Best Buy when I was 14 or 15 years old. I told him that originally I was supposed to have $1,000 shopping spree at Best Buy, but they actually gave me $2,000. I also told him that I got picked up in a limo and went to Best Buy and bought a desktop computer, Sega Dreamcast with five games, two Nintendo 64 games, a TV and two music CD’s.

When I was sick in the hospital. I was home schooled and a tutor came to my house and to the hospital. Now they actually have school in the hospital. I went down with the children to school and I was helping a girl who was in 5th grade. We played “I Spy” and math on the iPad. She is really smart and on the math game she scored 100 out of 100.

When school ended for the children, myself and others had to take them back to the fourth floor. While on our way back to the fourth floor, one of the teachers asked me why I was volunteering. She asked if I was a student. I told her that I used to because a cancer patient at 14 and 17 years old from 1999 to 2003.

She couldn’t believe that I was once a cancer patient and it was good that I’m willing to share my story and inspire children cancer patients. She said she started working at Loma Linda Hospital in 2003, which was at the time when I was finishing up my chemotherapy treatments.

She also asked if I talked to any of the children patients yet. I told her I spoke to a couple of teens and they were open to hear my story. I told her my Mom took pictures of me while I was sick when I was 14 and 17 years old and I had them on my fire HD 10 tablet. I wanted the patients to see that I went through the same struggles that they are going through.

Overall, I had a great conversation with the school teacher, and when I told her I was 30 years old. She couldn’t believe that I was 30, and expressed that I looked good for my age and never would have guessed I was 30 years old.

I could honestly say that Monday, Nov. 30th was the best day I had as a volunteer at Loma Linda Hospital. I feel like I’m slowly making a difference in people’s lives.

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