Why I Volunteer – Barb
I began volunteering when my children were little, helping with their activities. But when the children left home, I felt bored. I heard about the Canadian Cancer Society. and I thought “that sounds interesting.” In 1989, I began working at reception.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, even though I had none of the risk factors. After I took some time off to recover, I returned with a new perspective. I began helping with the Emergency Aid Program. I loved this role –being able to hear people’s stories, and show them that somebody cared by helping with practical support, was so rewarding.
In 2005, I became involved with CancerConnection, supporting people by telephone who have been diagnosed with cancer. I had the privilege of talking to people as far away as Ontario, and being one more layer of support for them in their cancer journey. I could really understand their challenges, and often, I would just listen.
I travel quite a bit – I’ve done walking tours in France, and ridden a camel in Egypt! Often the people that I talk with would say how much hope it gives them to know that there is life – and a good life – after cancer.
I get so much out of volunteering. Sometimes, if I’m feeling sorry for myself – I talk to others and it puts all my problems in perspective.