Paul & Shirley:
Paying it Forward
Paul is a prostate cancer survivor. He and his wife Shirley are both volunteers as St. Francis Hospital and Methodist Hospital in Peoria. Here’s their story of gratitude.
Overcoming Paul’s prostate cancer was a tremendous challenge for us both. We wanted to share what we learned with others who are facing cancer together.
We work as support volunteers at St. Francis Hospital and Methodist Hospital in the Peoria area. We introduce ourselves to patients, who are often there together with their caregivers. Sometimes, we meet other couples like us. Other times it’s a parent and child or a brother and sister together. We get started by asking them to tell us their stories.
We’ve seen first-hand that compassionate listening and the encouragement of people who’ve “been there” makes a real difference. Often, just having a shoulder to cry on — knowing they’re not alone — is the key to giving people the hope they need to face the next day and the next challenge.
We encourage other couples to consider volunteering together. It’s a wonderful way to pay it forward — to express gratitude for our own good health and help others at a time they may need it most.