Just stating the obvious – The death of a friend, especially a co-worker at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, is so tough. Even though this happened some five years ago I always think of this friend during October and Breast Cancer Awareness month. October is now behind us and the Hospital certainly did a lot to promote Breast Cancer Awareness, but did we do enough?
I was listening to a song in the car the other day about heroes and it got me thinking. Who is my hero? My mind traveled to historical figures, my grandparents, parents, mentors, family, co-workers and the medical personnel who have treated my husband, Ken and I. The word “hero” comes from Greek mythology meaning a mythological or legendary figure, often of divine ancestry, who is favored by the gods, endowed with great courage and strength, and celebrated for their bold exploits. Today we use the word for someone noted for courageous acts or nobility of purpose, especially one who risked or sacrificed his life. It can also be a person noted for a special achievement in a particular field. More simply, a hero is someone who has made a huge impact on your life or someone you admire greatly.
Last week the Hospital honored our Volunteers by hosting a great luncheon and program at the Candlelight Pavilion. I was honored to attend, as my husband has been a Volunteer (he drives the shuttle) for over a year now. I’ve always been lucky to have wonderful Volunteers help me out at events and for special projects – so I know how valuable they are!
I learned that over 900 Volunteers donated over 91,000 hours to the Hospital in 2011! Can you believe that??? Some other fun facts I learned: 20,000 newspapers were delivered to patients last year by Volunteers; our Junior Volunteers helped patients with 17,000 meal selection cards; and that same number of Volunteers have served over 25 years and have over 10,000 hours! What dedication is shown by these giving people on a daily basis!
It’s a time honored tradition to make resolutions as we begin another year. Usually taking better care of your health is high on the resolution list - eating better, losing weight, more exercise, we know the drill! The fact of the matter is that very few people actually manage to make a permanent change to a healthier lifestyle. There are those who don’t need to make changes, because they are already doing all the things the rest of us know we should be doing!
We are in the business of “health care” and we encourage everyone to live a healthy lifestyle. The reality is at any given time there are patients here who have not made healthy choices and are now battling to regain their health. Many of our Associates are very health conscious, but there are some who are so busy taking care of other people that they don’t take the time to care for themselves.
There are “awareness” months for cancer and other diseases, but November brings awareness to the caregivers – those who tend to the needs of their loved ones who are ill and unable to care for themselves.
Sometimes medical professionals are called caregivers, but I’m not referring to them in this post. Caregiver Awareness Month is dedicated to those loving people who do anything from running the occasional errand or cooking a meal to the 24/7 handling of a person in need of assistance. Caregivers put someone else’s needs before their own. It can be heart-warming to give to those you love, but it can also be an overwhelming responsibility.
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