by Sallie Woodring
Director of Volunteer Services and Career Pathways
Dema Spann has been a wonderful asset to the Seby Jones cancer center since she started volunteering there in 2011. Below in her own words, Dema shares why she decided to volunteer and what it has meant in her life. We are very thankful to have Dema has an outstanding member of the WMC volunteer program.
I started volunteering at the cancer center about seven years ago. My husband had passed away a year prior to that. He had a lot of health issues and I was with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a long time providing his care. When he passed away it left a void and I had a lot of time on my hands. I felt the need to fill that void by doing something useful for someone.
My daughter suggested I try volunteering at the Seby B. Jones Regional Cancer Center and so I did. Here I am seven years later, still volunteering. It’s been a challenge but gratifying. I have made some lasting friendships here and met some wonderful people from all walks of life.
The majority of the patients have positive attitudes that make it enjoyable to be here to encourage them. I try to have an encouraging word for everyone – bring a smile to each face, a warm blanket to those who need one. I also provide pillows, coffee, juice and snacks.
I am a pretty good listener, and most everyone has a story to tell or needs a shoulder to lean on. I keep telling myself I’m getting too old for this, but God has blessed me with good health and the ability to volunteer. So each week I am back at the same time, same place, and doing the same thing.
I am enjoying the opportunity to be of help to these dear people. I, too, have been in that treatment chair some twenty years ago myself and I know what it meant to have a friendly face to cheer me on.