Stan and Jessie

Both Stan and Jessie light up when asked about their volunteer work at Credit Valley. “We started volunteering here at the hospital when we were both completely healthy, back in 1998,” says Stan. And Jessie quickly adds, “What keeps us coming back year after year is the need here. We feel that we are really able to make a contribution. If we can give a smile or hold a hand and make a difference in someone’s day, then we know we’ll be back the next day.

Married for 57 years, Jessie and Stan have shared many of life’s experiences together, including surviving cancer.

In 2001, Jessie was diagnosed with breast cancer. Because there was no radiation available through CVH at the time, she and Stan had to drive to and from Sunnybrook at least 25 times for treatment.

In 2006, Jessie was again diagnosed with breast cancer, this time in the other breast. While her treatment would  include surgery, followed with another 25 treatments of radiation, the difference this time was that she was able to be treated right here at Credit Valley.

What really stood out for her was the care she received from a particular nurse who stayed with her when she was having surgery. She provided so much comfort and support when she needed it when she was feeling most vulnerable and scared. For Stan, a routine physical back in 2005 resulted in the eventual diagnosis of prostate cancer. Within weeks Stan was given treatment options. “I can’t say enough about the staff,” says Stan. “They were very forthcoming, answering any and all questions we had and never once did we feel like we were asking stupid questions. I felt well-informed throughout my treatment.”

Continues Stan, “You really get to know the people who are providing the care and even today when I’m volunteering, I’ll see the staff who were there for me when I needed them and say hello.”

Stan and Jessie’s story will resonate with many of Credit Valley’s families and friends: they experienced the care that comes from having regional centres of excellence where medical expertise is second to none – right in their own backyard.