Celebrating A Giving Heart

28 Feb

The Jefferson Award honors “everyday citizens who do incredible things in a totally unselfish manner.”  Several winners are chosen at the local level and one finalist from each participating area will go to the National Jefferson Award celebration in Washington, D.C. in the Spring.

I was so excited to learn yesterday that one of my chemo nurses, Dorothy Williamson, is a 2012 Jefferson Award winner here locally – an honor given to exceptionally giving, caring individuals in our community who make a difference!  She is completely deserving of this award and I think they made an excellent choice in selecting her!!

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press February 27, 2012

Click on the image above if you would like to see the full page article.  Email readers, you may need to click over to my blog to see it.

Dorothy is a riot and she never stops.  She is constantly moving, talking, doing something, thinking, and helping three people all at the same time.  She goes full speed ahead all day and almost always has a huge smile on her face and a big hug for everyone.  When she’s not smiling, it’s because she is concerned about one of the patients.

She and I got to be quite familiar with each other when my veins decided to become difficult to access.  I always knew when she was headed my way that my arms were going to get “spanked” because she would slap the veins trying to get them to puff up a bit.  I hated it, but she hated having to stick me so many times because she knew it was uncomfortable.  She truly cares about the patients.

We have a joke about some shoes that I wear to chemo sometimes.  They are black Mary Janes.  The first time Dorothy saw them, she mentioned that she liked my Mary Annes – so now, I always call them Mary Annes, just for her.  :)

Dorothy is an exceptional person.  Her attitude is incredibly positive and her laughter is the craziest cackle you’ve ever heard!  It makes you smile even when you don’t feel like smiling.  She likes to cut-up and laugh with the patients and helps to create an atmosphere of pleasure as much as possible in a room where you would not expect anything to be pleasurable.  No one wants to be there, but she certainly makes you feel welcomed and loved while you are in her care.

And it’s not just Dorothy who’s that way.  She has helped to create an environment where all of the nurses are, without question in my mind, some of the most gifted, caring, compassionate, fun people I’ve ever met. They all have very special places in my heart.

Dorothy is truly wonderful and makes going for a chemo treatment actually enjoyable.  I am so proud and happy for her to receive this honor!!

I can say with absolute certainly that Dorothy and ALL of the nurses at COHA are blessings in disguise for me.  I don’t want to be there, I certainly didn’t want to be diagnosed with cancer, but I have been given an incredible gift in having them for my treatment nurses.

Congratulations, Dorothy!  You’ve certainly made a positive impact in my life and I thank you for it!
♥ Rachel

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8 Responses to “Celebrating A Giving Heart”

  1. Cancer Warrior February 28, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    When I think of my chemo nurses, this prayer comes to mind:

    Father, your world is ill with cancer and frightened. We pary you ease the suffering of those afflicted, give loving hands to those who care for them, and light the way for those who seek its cure.

    Sounds like Dorothy exemplifies the “loving hands”

    Cancer Warrior
    http://www.perksofcancer.com

    • rachturner February 29, 2012 at 8:42 am #

      Love that prayer, Flo! So beautiful, and yes, Dorothy does exemplify loving hands.

  2. tranquilmomentsphotography February 28, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    The world needs more Dorothys! So happy you have her in your life to celebrate your ups and to pick you up when you (or your veins) need it!! Have a Terrific Tuesday.

    • rachturner February 29, 2012 at 8:43 am #

      The world needs a lot more Dorothys in it!

  3. Susan February 28, 2012 at 9:43 am #

    This is a wonderful story I have nurses like that in the Tom Baker Cancer Center in Calgary, Cathy, Angie, Michelle just to name a few. Wonderful ladies who make a difficult job look easy.

    • rachturner February 29, 2012 at 8:43 am #

      Chemo nurses truly are special, aren’t they?

  4. Kathy February 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Dorothy – Thank you for your selfless devotion to others. When you lighten my little sister Rachel’s burden you also lighten it for our entire family. We feel blessed to have Rach in such capable and caring hands and truly appreciate everything you do. Kathy

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