How fighting cancer led to volunteerism and philanthropic support
Fay Cloy first got to know East Jefferson General Hospital when she was diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer in 2010 and received her chemotherapy treatment in the Infusion Center. While she noted that the space was cramped and crowded, what really stayed with her was how kind the nurses and staff were to her, bringing food such as fresh fruit, snacks and even lunch for both the patients and their family members so no one would have to leave her side.
In the spring of 2012, Fay, who was in remission, and her daughter Nadine LaGrange decided to become more involved with EJGH and volunteer. Both had voids in their life since Fay had recently retired and Nadine's children had left for college. Both wanted to be a part of helping other patients, and Fay's cousin (the late Paul Grenier) had volunteered at EJGH for years and always spoke about how much he loved it.
The more time spent at EJGH, the more they fell in love with it. Fay remarks, "My volunteer group has become like family. And, the people here are wonderful. I've never met a single person who wasn't nice."
Nadine drives over an hour just to get to EJGH, but she says that it is worth it. She believes she has a special connection with the patients and their families that she cares for, and that connection "makes me want to take them under my arm and make them better." Unfortunately, Nadine had to miss a couple months due to her own surgery. During those months away, she "felt like a part of me was missing."
In the summer of 2012, Fay found out that her cancer had returned. With treatments of radiation and chemotherapy under the expert care of radiation oncologist Dr. Paul Monsour and hematologist oncologist Dr. Lesley Meng, she is now thrilled to be in remission.
Throughout her treatments, Nadine noticed that the hospital was planning for an expanded Infusion Center. She felt compelled to make a donation to help fund the project. "I hope mom never has to use the new infusion center. But I felt like I needed to give. I wanted to honor my mom and her battle against cancer and help future patients."