While taking a patient on a day-trip to the state capital isn’t a common occurrence as a Seattle Cancer Care Alliance volunteer, it’s happened for Ted Thwing.
“It’s fun. We get patients from all over the world,” Ted says. “I’ve met people from Italy, Norway, Iraq, Sudan and all across the United States.”
The day-trip to Olympia was with a visiting patient who had received clearance to travel and wanted to see what the capital was like. The patient didn’t have anyone to go with so Ted took the initiative and made the trip happen.
Ted has helped provide support for SCCA patients as an SCCA volunteer in various roles over the past eight years. Now the SCCA House concierge, Ted first started out as a patient/family volunteer, which he referred to as “being a friend to someone in an estranged city.”
Since patients and their caregivers at SCCA travel near and far for treatment, volunteers like Ted can make all of the difference for them. As the SCCA House concierge, Ted greets guests, provides information on the city and directs them to SCCA resources.
“Our patients are brave people. I’m constantly amazed,” he says.
In addition to staffing the concierge desk weekly at SCCA House, Ted also volunteers with his church on a monthly basis serving brunch to the patients and families who stay at SCCA House.
“We get a chance to interact with people. We get a chance to sit down and say ‘Hi, welcome to Seattle.’” Ted says. “We’re not the medical team, we are part of the “Seattle team” to let them know we care that they are in our city.”
For Ted, volunteering at SCCA has always been about reaching out and supporting others. He is also the current president of the SCCA Volunteer Advisory Council.
SCCA has more than 200 volunteers who dedicate their time and energy in 20 different volunteer roles ranging from tutoring children, patient drivers, planning events, working at the gift shop and much more. We thank each and every one of our volunteers as we recognize all of them during National Volunteer Week.
If you are interested in joining our team of SCCA volunteers, take a look at the list of volunteer roles. SCCA’s next quarterly new volunteer orientation is May 10 and 17.