Caption: Paul Morton, a cancer survivor, volunteers at the Regional Cancer Center.
August 26, 2019
SURVIVOR GIVES BACK TO UPLIFT OTHERS IN TREATMENT
Volunteers at ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center
APPLETON, Wis. – The experiences we have in life, including the joyous times and difficult journeys, shape who we are. Paul Morton had one of the experiences four years ago that led him on a path to help others.
“I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in November 2015,” he said. “I’ve been myeloma cell free for about three years now.”
Paul, who is now 70-years-old, explained that going through cancer gave him a new perspective on the disease. A perspective he now shares with others going through treatment as he volunteers at ThedaCare Regional Cancer Center.
“I’ve been there,” he said. “I know what they’re going through when they sit in that chair for treatment. Sometimes medication isn’t all you need. You need someone to talk with and listen, and it might help if that person understands what it all feels like.”
He said once he shares his cancer story, patients tend to open up a bit more. He said he takes care of a little bit of everything during his volunteer shift, stocking blankets, coffee and menus. His most important job though, is offering a smile to patients and families.
“When they come through that door, they’re coming in for a reason,” he said. “I want to just be here for them and possibly lift them up a bit. Because that’s what they need.”
Paul is not shy about sharing his own cancer experience. He praises his caregivers, including Dr. William Conkright, for helping navigate through treatment. He also said that his support group of his wife, family and friends kept him positive.
“They gave me my life back,” he said. “If you have cancer, you have to trust others around you, lean on your support system.”
Paul has been volunteering at ThedaCare for a little more than a year. He is semi-retired and said it is a way for him to give back.
“It’s my responsibility to pay it forward because of what I know,” he said. “Volunteering is a way for people to give all of yourself to those who need you.”
Many volunteers at the Regional Cancer Center are survivors or those who’ve lost a loved one to the disease. For more information about volunteering at ThedaCare, contact Rachel Schraufnagel, Volunteer Services Manager, at Rachel.Schraufnagel@thedacare.org.
For more than 110 years, ThedaCare® has been committed to improving the health of the communities it serves in Northeast and Central Wisconsin. The organization delivers care to a community of more than 600,000 residents in 14 counties and employs more than 7,000 healthcare professionals. ThedaCare has 180 locations including seven hospitals located in Appleton, Neenah, Berlin, New London, Shawano, Waupaca and Wild Rose. ThedaCare is the first in Wisconsin to be a Mayo Clinic Care Network Member, giving our specialists the ability to consult with Mayo Clinic experts on a patient’s care. ThedaCare is a not-for-profit healthcare organization with a level II trauma center, comprehensive cancer treatment, stroke and cardiac programs as well as a foundation dedicated to community service.
Media should call Cassandra Wallace, Public Relations Specialist at 920.442.0328 or the ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah switchboard at 920.729.3100 and ask for the marketing person on call.