Volunteering at CWC
Written by John-Mark Mallory
I’m really grateful for the variety of services Cancer Wellness Center offers to clients. As I mentioned in my previous piece (link other blog post here), my brother Max originally found the center because of the Lisa Klitzky Young Adults Program. It was a vital part of his cancer journey, and an amazing resource for him. It helped my brother finally find people who could relate to his situation and were facing very similar circumstances. I know he would’ve had a much tougher road without the support of the young adults group at Cancer Wellness Center.
After Max passed away in May of 2016, my family needed help to deal with the extreme grief of this sudden tragedy. We turned to the Cancer Wellness Center for help, and what we got in return was very important to all of us. We reached out to Evan Byer, the licensed clinical psychologist who led the young adults group Max attended. He agreed that we should come in to talk about what we were going through.
My entire blended family attended a group therapy session with Evan shortly after Max’s passing. It was a first step for us to somehow try and begin the healing process. Evan’s demeanor and prior interactions with Max made us feel like we were talking to someone who really understood what we were going through. We needed to all get together and talk, and Cancer Wellness Center made that possible in a safe and loving setting. This was my first time touring the center, and it made me realize I wanted to get involved.
During my time as a front desk volunteer, I’ve seen just how much of an impact the center can have on people’s lives. Whether it’s someone newly affected by cancer, or a survivor that’s been coming to the center for many months, I can tell that the services they receive are not only important in their journey, they also make a positive impact every day.
In addition to going to bereavement counseling at Cancer Wellness Center, my family and I have attended other classes and lectures as well. My mom, who is a cancer survivor herself, went to a Reiki self-care class led by certified Reiki master and cancer Reiki specialist Sharon Rosman earlier this year. I had the honor of helping out at the 2017 Better Together Benefit, which was an amazing event with many inspiring stories, great food and drink! It’s also a treat to come in and see the therapy dogs on the days they visit the center. Those cute canines know how to put a smile on everyone’s face.
I love sitting at the front desk of the center and greeting people as they come for classes or appointments. I enjoy talking to people and making them feel as if they’re supported from the moment they walk in that door. I know the services they’re receiving are top notch, and it’s an honor to be a small part of that process. The familiar faces I see regularly coming for classes like yoga and exercise are a testament to how much those programs are valued by the center’s participants.
It’s such a rewarding experience to be able to help people at the center. Even if it’s something as simple as helping a participant sign up for an upcoming class, lecture or special event, it makes me proud to know that I’m aiding them in their journey. Seeing what kind of care they get at the center lets me know that they’re in great hands, and I hope that it helps them in whatever way possible. The Cancer Wellness Center holds a special place in my heart, and always will. I’m lucky to have the opportunity to volunteer, and so thankful for all they’ve done for my family.