I was lucky enough to shadow the head of the ER at Dublin Methodist Hospital. I followed Dr. Boehmer into each room and learned many interesting things as I went along. One thing in particular that stood out to me was one patient who was a heroin addict. I had definitely heard about drug addicts coming into hospitals and making up symptoms to receive drugs, I just did not realize how often it occurred. This patient was saying everything they could to receive any type of painkiller. Another thing that stood out to me was a little kid with a bad family situation. The parents of the little kid were divorced. One of the parents was originally at the ER with the little kid, then the next thing I knew, the other parent came in and started fighting with the parent that was already there to take the kid home. This stood out to me because when I think of becoming a doctor, I typically only think of the medical part of it. However, these experiences made me realize that knowing what to do in various situations and interacting with families is also a huge part of the job. Shadowing Dr. Boehmer was an awesome experience, and it definitely taught me a lot about the field.
I have always been extremely involved in my church, whether it is working in the nursery during church services or helping with Vacation Bible School. Both of these things have helped develop my leadership skills. When I work in the nursery, I am the primary caretaker of children ages 0-3 years old. I usually have a couple of helpers, but as the most experienced, and typically the oldest, I am usually in charge. It is a part of my job to not only play with the kids and make sure they are having a good time, but to also make sure each child is getting equal attention from me and the other helpers in the nursery. When I volunteer with VBS, I am the leader of a group. This means that I am in charge of a small group of children, and I walk them around to various stations and make sure they are having a fun time while also learning a lot. I do my best to create a welcoming environment where everyone feels included. Working with kids has always been something that I love. Getting to play childish games and see every single child smile ear to ear when their favorite song comes on, or when they are picked for duck-duck-goose is an experience like no other. Children are the future, and being able to play a part in their development is a great feeling.
This year, I participated in BuckeyeThon for the first time. I have never felt so humbled to be a part of something in my entire life. Spending 12 hours on your feet, dancing and raising money for kids with cancer will really put things into perspective. While I am here, finding my way through college and living my life, there are thousands of children in hospitals fighting for their lives. It is the LEAST I can do to dance for 12 hours in support of them. Throughout the day, I learned the “morale dance,” which is the dance that all of the team leaders show at the beginning. At the end of the marathon, another person from my team and I, along with two people from every other team, performed the dance on stage in front of hundreds of people. This was a thrilling moment, and I was proud to represent my team and dance in support of children who can’t. I was able to personally raise over $1000 for children with cancer thanks to the help of my family and friends. I will never forget the last few minutes of the marathon when the total amount of money raised was revealed and everyone hugged and cheered and cried tears of joy. I have never been more proud to be a Buckeye than in that moment. As someone who possibly wants to become a pediatric oncologist, this event inspired me to continue to work hard and achieve my goals FOR THE KIDS.
I have been volunteering at The Inn at Olentangy Trail, a nursing home, in the dementia unit since the fall of 2016. On Sunday mornings, I and several others go to the nursing home and mingle with the residents. We do anything from doing puzzles, painting nails, and playing with a beach ball to just sitting and talking. Seeing the residents faces light up when we come in is a feeling that will never get old. Although many of the residents may not remember us, it is still just as rewarding to watch them smile as they complete a puzzle or celebrate as they successfully hit the beach ball back to us. Before we leave, we always help serve lunch and clean up afterwards. I have met some incredible people through volunteering here, and I hope to continue going for as long as I am able to.
I started volunteering at Riverside Hospital in 2016. In such a short time, this experience has shaped me in a way that I did not know was possible. I have been working as a greeter at the main entrance of the hospital, where I engage with the families of patients and answer any questions they may have. I walk patients and their families where they need to be, while providing a friendly and welcoming environment. Occasionally, I deliver flowers to patients rooms, which always makes me smile. This experience has not only helped change my perspective on everyday life, but also introduced me to some incredible people. I volunteer every Wednesday morning with two amazing elderly, but not so elderly in spirit, men. I have become close with both of these men, and they have both offered me some great advice, as well as words of encouragement when I need them. Listening to them talk about life gives me great hope for the future, and watching their kindness in action gives me great hope for humanity. Interacting with my fellow volunteers and with patients and their families has made me realize how important it is to be present in the moment and to appreciate the little things in life. Many of the patients that I work with have had life altering circumstances occur at Riverside, whether it be a medical emergency or the loss of a loved one, in the blink of an eye. Seeing this has helped me appreciate how fortunate I am, and has helped me be thankful for everyone in my life and every single day that I am living.
In the fall of 2016, I was elected the treasurer for Buckeyes Against Alzheimer’s. This club works to spread awareness about and raise money for Alzheimer’s disease. With more then 5 million Americans affected by Alzheimer’s, this is such an important disease to bring awareness to. As someone, who like a substantial amount of others, has been personally affected by the disease with the loss of a loved one, I am honored to be a part of an organization that is helping to raise money for Alzheimer’s research. As the treasurer, it is my job to not only request funding and manage the accounts, but to coordinate fundraisers. So far, I have coordinated a Blaze Pizza fundraiser, and a Torpedo Comedy Club Fundraiser. At the end of each year, we donate half of our remaining money to the Alzheimer’s Association.