25th January 2015
To be a volunteer at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® with the H.O.P.E. Team is a privilege, honor, rewarding, and humbling experience. To be with the other dedicated, friendly, caring volunteers, stakeholders, and most importantly, the cancer patients, is very uplifting and heartwarming. The atmosphere is filled with warmth, hope, dedication, and sincere compassion for all involved. I highly recommend it to those looking for a meaningful experience, where you are guaranteed to receive more than you give. I am absolutely, positively convinced that Mary Stephenson could not be more proud of what her son, Richard, has achieved in creating such a positive atmosphere and environment, for this important work of curing, caring, and respecting people, who are struggling in the fight of their lives.
– Michael Johnson
10th December 2014
It wasn’t love at first sight. I am not exactly a big dog lover. In fact, truth be told, I’m afraid of them. My dog lover friends often try to help me overcome this defect. They take it as a personal affront that I don’t have automatic affection for their extended family member. I have made progress with this issue. Blessing of the Paws was a huge step for me; but now I’ve had another breakthrough. I met Savannah.
Savannah was waiting for our Community of Hope ministry team from St. Peter’s to arrive at the Cancer Treatment Center. The team offers a prayer and healing service once a month and takes communion to patients who are receiving treatments at the center. I braced myself for the encounter; but as soon as the front doors opened and I spotted Savannah, I knew there was something different about this dog. Savannah is technically known as a trained therapy dog, but to me she fits better into the spirit category.
As the team walked the halls of the center and stopped in individual rooms to offer prayers and communion, Savannah offered a calmness and peace to everyone we met. Some were well enough to pet her beautiful coat; but when they were too sick, Savannah would rest her head gently and compassionately on the bed. Her spirit filled the room with joy and comfort. Surely this had to be more than a dog!
I realized I was sad when Savannah had to leave. Her owner, who is a new parishioner at St. Peter’s, said it was time for her to go home. Such a spirit has to get some rest and recharge. Thank you Savannah for what you bring to all whom you meet
Deacon Gay, Community of Hope