Question: Why do you volunteer for the medical escort program?
Gloria: “It is something that I really look forward to doing… I like helping people in general. There will come a time in your life when you will need help. You will find yourself in the same situation as some of these people. In time it will return back to you. Then you will say, ‘It is a good thing I helped people.’ You won’t feel guilty because you have already done your service.”
Question: What have you learned from your experiences?
Gloria: “There are so many things you learn as you go with these different patients. Some of these people don’t have anybody, they live alone. I remember one woman with terrible arthritis in her hands. You wonder how she could button up her shirts or eat her food.
But these people, even though they are in tough positions, they are so happy. Life goes on. I wonder, would I be such a cheerful person if I was in the same position? I have learned that a person can be content even though they are in a difficult position. They have jokes too, they make you laugh!”
Question: What is your most memorable experience as a volunteer?
Gloria: “There is one I am going to remember for a long time.
I went to an appointment with a woman in Brighton, but we didn’t know that the transportation had dropped us off at the wrong address. We went office to office, but no one knew where her doctor was. Finally, a woman at the front desk said the doctor was actually at a different address! It was near us, but up a big steep hill. The woman couldn’t walk there – she used a cane – and it was getting too late to call the ride back, so I borrowed a wheelchair and pushed her. It was the summer time and it was hot! And the hill was steep! I was terrified of letting go. But we made jokes and laughed all the way. We were having a wonderful time. She was just in time for the appointment. Just in time! We had fun! That saved the day. That was a remarkable experience for me.”
Question: What are your favorite hobbies?
Gloria: “My favorite hobby I will tell you is traveling. I love traveling! Lord. do I love to travel! I’m going to Israel in the fall with my church. And I love my plants. And I love church! On Sunday I go to 3 or 4 different churches; from the Catholic Church to the Salvation Army to the Methodist Church. I like to spend Sunday in the house of God.”
Question: There are a few people I can think of whom you have formed friendships with after escorting them. Can you tell me more about the relationships you’ve formed?
Gloria: “I make friends with everyone I go on escorts with! They always want me to take them to their next appointment. It is a great experience and you make friends.”