Years ago, right out of graduate school, I became a medical social worker and found myself working in some of the most challenging and inspiring settings. One of the more memorable ones was working with Pediatric Oncology patients and their families at a large Children’s Hospital. I wasn’t ready for the harsh reality and heartbreak that role entailed. I remember sitting with a mother whose son was newly diagnosed with Leukemia and she kept asking me, why…why did this happen…why my son. I didn’t have an answer for her. I didn’t know how to help this woman who was looking into my eyes so desperately and overwhelmed with her son’s diagnosis.
I soon found myself with a growing family of my own and a need to take a break from the medical world. When the time was right again, I was ready to go back to work. I still felt like I could make a difference and my passion was still with serving the cancer community. I never forgot about that mother.
I set out to find a local non-profit to volunteer for and saw a news story about the CareBOX Program. The woman was speaking so passionately about her work and the program sounded like such a direct and simple way to make a positive impact on the lives of cancer patients. I was intrigued!
I met with that woman, Lisa Keefauver (Communications and Program Director) and the rest of the CareBOX team at the time, Jillian Domingue (Founder and Executive Director) and Diana Dobson (Event and Fundraising Director) and was immediately blown away by their passion and dedication for helping cancer patients. I signed up to volunteer on the spot and after a few months of getting to know them more and the program, they offered me the job of Volunteer Coordinator. Since then, we’ve been lucky enough to bring on Rhiannon Nunziato (Logistics and Supply Chain Manager), to our team. We’re now five women who have set out to improve the quality of care for cancer patients.
If that mother from so many years ago was sitting with me today, I could say that I don’t know why this is happening but I could do something to help. The CareBOX Program could take some of the burden off of her family and give care supplies that they would need along the way for her son.
I love my job!
-Melissa Wilson, Volunteer Coordinator