A little more than two years ago, I walked into the Volunteer Resources office at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for an interview. The date was March 21, 2012, exactly one year since the death of my grandmother, who had passed away from pancreatic cancer and who was a patient at the hospital.
I had signed up to volunteer as a part of Sloan’s Visible Ink program. After about 10 minutes with the department’s coordinator, it was clear to her that I was better suited to become a visiting volunteer, someone who goes room to room a few hours a week to visit with patients who may be lonely, or without much company. On the surface, the job seems simple: a five minute chat, a check-in. But I can tell you, for me, it’s been life-changing.