“BCRC Volunteers Touch Lives Each Day” – Reflections on an AsSisters Volunteer Opportunity

By: Cathy, BCRC metastatic client

The best thing I did was reach out to BCRC and request a volunteer from their AsSisters program. As a member of the IV League, I had been reminded of that service a number of times. I never requested help because I kept feeling like I “should” be able to accomplish things around my house. I had not been working for over a year but the residual fatigue was keeping me from making progress on decluttering and organizing a house that had truthfully gotten out of control. While I was working, I had little energy to keep up with the day to day.

The most important thing to me was to get my craft room organized. I call it my happy place. Since crafting is one of the things that reduce stress, I needed to get it usable again. Enter Rhonda Loeliger. She was the volunteer that Phyllis Rose at BCRC hooked me up with. For several afternoons, we worked a few hours at a time to sort through what I had and organized all of my rubber stamps and other supplies. We finished that project on my birthday. It was the best gift ever!

Rhonda has been a godsend. She is gifted with organizational skills and is quite the handywoman. We haven’t come across anything yet that she couldn’t do. Since she is also a creative person, we’ve enjoyed talking about creative things. But the best part of this volunteer/client relationship is not what tasks we’ve completed or what handy skills Rhonda has, but the compassion and sensitivity she has had for me. She understood that it was hard to let someone in to a house that had gotten out of control. She understood that decluttering the house was not just about the “stuff” but about the way the house made me feel. In her words, we were reclaiming my house one room at a time. The goal is to feel the same joy in every room of my house that I feel in my craft room. We’ve been a great partnership. One of us has an idea and the other can springboard off of it and we’ve come up with some great organizing solutions. Rhonda has also been very sensitive to my energy levels and has been committed to getting the project done at my pace. I’ll end up with a stress-free home that reflects who I am, but best of all, I’ve ended up with a new friend.

Thank you Rhonda and the BCRC!

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By: Rhonda, BCRC AsSisters Volunteer 

Cathy is so strong and so wonderful. I don’t know that I could have let someone in like she did. She takes everything with a comical grain of salt. I’ve never met anyone so happy, so chipper, who laughs so easily at things. I love being around her, and she’s right, this is such a cool friendship. I think we fill each other’s needs in the time we’re together.

This is the most enjoyable thing I’ve done. I sometimes forget that she even has cancer or why I’m there, I’m just helping a friend. Thank you so much for this. Cathy is exactly the person I needed to meet.

 

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Are you in need of AsSisters help?  Contact your patient navigator or call our helpline to be assigned to a patient navigator at 512-524-2560.
Are you interested in becoming one of our Volunteer Angels?  Please contact Director of Volunteer Services, Phyllis Rose at prose@bcrc.org or 512-524-2470×105.

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