Serving up support

ContributedThe Grove City High School girls’ volleyball team hosted its sixth annual Pink Out on Tuesday night in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The junior varsity and varsity teams raised money with a serve-a-thon and gift basket raffle. Half of the proceeds were donated to the oncology department at Grove City Medical Center. Pictured from left are the senior members of the volleyball team along with some registered nurses from the oncology department: front row, Morgan Wentz, Melissa Nagel, Cheryl Graham, Angie Hammel, and Ryan Gubba; and back row, Booster President Jane Filer, Mackenzie Haggart, Katie McDowell, and Megan Jackson. 

GROVE CITY – Patients at Grove City Medical Center’s oncology department will be getting a little boost thanks to some local athletes.

“We are very grateful,” said Cheryl Graham, a registered oncology nurse.

The Grove City High School girls’ volleyball team on Tuesday held its sixth annual Pink Out – a fundraising event that benefits a local organization in honor of October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

There was a serve-a-thon and gift basket raffle, and the girls have selected the oncology department as this year’s recipient for part of the proceeds.

Graham, who has worked in the department for 10 years, isn’t sure yet what she and her co-workers will buy, but they know they will be using the money to improve the patient experience – maybe with some new wall decor.

“They are very happy to be recognized,” she said of the patients.

The department received a donation from the team a few years ago, and that was used to purchase decorative covers for the lights.

There are no windows in the oncology department because it’s located in the middle of the hospital, so the patients have enjoyed that extra touch, Graham said.

There are six treatment chairs in the department, where patients also have blood work done. Some of them spend a lot of that in that room; one patient was expected to be there for nine hours on Friday.

It’s a small department, and the staff members feel like their own support group, and the patients feel like family, she said.

“A lot of them are from our community,” she said.

The employees get to know the patients on a personal level, and the job can be tough and sad. Graham has attended a lot of funerals over the years.

“But we keep going,” she said.

To recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Graham and her colleagues wear pink shirts and decorate the department; that includes informational displays about breast cancer.

This year, they have decorated a flamingo, which sits in a bathtub – a nod to the recommendation that breast self-exams be performed in the shower. There are also waterproof shower cards that help remind people to complete monthly checks.

Graham thanks the volleyball team members for their generosity on behalf of the department and patients.

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