Meet Reception Desk Volunteer, Linda Hall
By Joyce George-Knight
On alternate Thursday mornings, visitors and members, who walk through the front door at 5 Inspiration Way, are cheerfully greeted by Linda Hall. To look at her, nobody would guess that she'd been treated for cancer. She knows the nervousness and courage it can take to walk through the entranceway for the first time like she did in May, 2008.
Linda's mother passed away after her battle with breast cancer, which had metastasized. From all she'd heard and read, she knew that she was at risk for getting breast cancer. Therefore, Linda went for regular breast screening. Then in 2007, a technician discovered pre-cancer and sent the reading and X-ray to Linda's doctor to discuss with her.
“I wasn't surprised,” Linda says, “because of my mother's situation.” She was simply grateful that her cancer was discovered at such infancy. “People complain that it hurts” to have a mammogram, “but it's worth it.”
Her surgeon performed a biopsy, which tissue was found to be pre-cancerous. Through a lumpectomy, one-third of her breast was removed. Linda underwent twenty-one radiation treatments. Following her “annual call back” in November, 2009, Linda was able to celebrate two years of being cancer-free.
Returning to work was more stressful than Linda had anticipated. She elected to “retire.” Having “nothing to do and no schedule” was a difficult change for her. A girl friend read about Wellspring Chinguacousy and told her about it. With “time on my hands,” she decided to visit and learn what it was all about.
She was surprised to discover the variety of free programs that are available to members and has enjoyed participating in Meditation, Qi Gong and Gentle Yoga classes. “Meditation is relaxing, both emotionally and physically. Facilitator, Tony Murdock, is very inspirational.” By attending the classes, she discovered that “I am able to meditate at home when I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm so much calmer.”
Before long, Linda decided to be a volunteer at the reception desk, a role she's filled for over a year and a half. Visitors are warmed by her gentle greeting and put quickly at ease as she offers them a cup of coffee or tea, and takes them on a tour of the house or connects them with a peer support volunteer.
In addition to her hours at Wellspring Chinguacousy, Linda feeds wild, stray cats that reside along GO train tracks. “Cats are spunky. I love their attitude.” She also delivers food to shut-ins for Meals on Wheels and enjoys entering contests on the internet. Believe it or not, Linda has won over $33,000 in goods and services over the past year!
Linda, we are grateful for your generosity of time and friendship.