Day 4: Service Day at UVA Cancer Center in Charlottesville
The 4K for Cancer mission is to inspire and foster hope to the young adult community, to make sure they know they have the support from not only their loved ones, but an entire community of supporters across the nation. We do this by visiting cancer patients at hospitals, centers, and hospices. Today, we visited the Emily Couric Clinical Cancer Center at University of Virginia, our first service day before we climb the Appalachians.
The team divided into small groups to help out with patient hospitality and administration work. You could immediately tell that the staff, cancer patients, and family members were grateful for our help and for our presence. Serving the community you are riding for gives significant meaning to the volunteer work we dedicated our time to. We directly see where our efforts are going towards, and that’s for cancer patients. Since music has played an integral part in my life, I volunteered to entertain the patients in the waiting room with my piano playing. Before lunch, one of the patients asked if she could give the piano a try. She jammed out to a soul/gospel song and started singing with a Billie Holiday rasp voice. It was glorious and it had me grinning ear to ear. It’s great to see when music can help others express their emotions and serve as an outlet.
Service days reminds us who we’re riding for and allows us to directly interact with patients. Amy spoke with family members of those patients going through chemotherapy and explained the 4K cause to them, spreading awareness about our organization. Zac and Athina visited the infusion center where patients receive medical treatment. Sitting in a cancer center for hours on end can become quite wearing. Having the ability to make a patient smile is what we work towards, and I’m glad we served. Again, the generosity and gratitude you receive from strangers across the communities we’ve come across has been tremendous. Warm hugs, kisses on cheeks, donations for the Ulman Cancer Fund, and genuine smiles were all things we received in exchange for our service. We ended our day at UVA Cancer Center by singing Lean On Me by Bill Withers to the patients and staff members. To whom much is given, much is required, and it makes me proud to say I’m part of a team that gives back to the community.
Just wanted to give a quick introduction to team San Fran’s service coordinators: Abigale, Gloria, and yours truly. I’ll explain what our roles are in a later post!
Our host, the First Baptist Church in Charlottesville, has been so generous to my team, hosting us for two nights, providing us with breakfast and dinner two days straight, and providing great company. All the members of their church community has been nothing short of incredible and altruistic. We are extremely thankful for their support and prayers. And major props to Amy for getting us our first radio interview for the 4K. Thanks to WINA 1070 and host Jay James for our time.
Team San Fran 2013!