Two-time cancer survivor Frank Loula is grateful for his time. He has been through a lot in his 70 years and doesn’t want to waste a single second.
“I thought the application process was reasonable and the volunteer training was great,” Frank reported. Having recently retired from a career as a sales manager, Frank felt he believed he could distinguish a good training program from a bad one.
Frank felt the hospital’s medical and volunteer staff did an excellent job at communicating their expectations. He also believes that the medical team understands and values his role, which is a large part of the reason he gets so much satisfaction from volunteering at the OSUCCC – James.
“If you’re in a place where you’re appreciated, where you’re treated with respect and where it’s professional, it’s special,” Frank said. “It’s why I chose the OSUCCC – James.”
Frank currently spends about five hours a day, twice a week at the OSUCCC – James, working at the infusion clinic in the Martha Morehouse Medical Plaza, where patients receive chemotherapy treatment. Patients often are required to sit in one position for several hours. Frank has been through the same process and understands exactly how they feel.
“I’m with people who are literally fighting for their lives; I’ve been there,” Frank said.
After completing his own chemotherapy and radiation, Frank remembers how he felt afterward. His eating patterns changed, and his cognitive ability was diminished. He sought help from a therapist and remembers how helpful it was to talk to someone about his experience.
“I like talking about my own experiences,” Frank said. “I know people who are fighting for their lives and I want to be there with them. I identify with them and feel close to them even though I don’t even know their name sometimes.”
Volunteering is very fulfilling for Frank because he is helping patients and because he is giving back to the OSUCCC – James medical staff. Every job he takes on, whether he’s preparing a snack, getting a blanket or folding laundry, means one less task the staff needs to complete. And that means staff can spend more time with patients.
Frank encourages anyone with free time to seek a volunteer opportunity. “I always get a lot more from the experience than I give,” Frank said.