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Buddy Check 16: Compassionate Care

Cancer patients at Freeman Health System sometimes spend hours getting chemotherapy treatment. With the help of volunteers, patients at the cancer institute are getting through this time with comfort and a friend by their side.
JOPLIN, MO.--- Dorothy Nichols has been battling her 2nd bout of breast cancer since March of 2011. She says she couldn't get through her treatment without the volunteers at the Freeman Cancer Institute.

"It just makes a big difference, you feel more at home," said Dorothy Nichols, Battling Breast Cancer.

Dorothy knows just how different it can be when volunteers aren't around.

"I would feel more like I was being shuffled through," said Nichols.

That's exactly how Dorothy felt when she was first diagnosed at a Springfield hospital. After switching to Freeman Health System, she met volunteer Beverly Jones and it changed everything.

"Well, especially in the beginning when the news wasn't so good, she would always give me a lot of hugs," said Nichols.

"Dorothy is one of the sweetest nicest ladies I know, no complaints, I have never heard her complain about anything," said Beverly Jones, Volunteer.

Beverly has been volunteering at the center since March of 2008.

"I had brought a friend over here for treatment and I visited with others and I thought this is the perfect spot for me to be," said Jones.

Every Thursday she makes her rounds at the center, visiting with patients and helping them feel at ease during their treatment.

"They might be here for 6 hours or more, so we go around and talk to them and visit, we take the goodie trays, we have snacks and drinks," said Jones.

Dorothy came to Freeman with 20 to 30 tumors, but her last 2 scans showed no signs of cancer.

"Oh I mean, you cry for joy instead of crying because of being stressed out," said Nichols.

Despite the good news, every Thursday, for the rest of her life, Dorothy will continue her treatment but with her friend by her side.

"I feel spoiled when I'm here, it's not as scary of a situation and you feel like you're being taken care of instead of always being the one who takes care of someone else," said Nichols.

For more information on volunteering at the cancer institute, you can call 417-347-4000.
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