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MD Anderson Volunteer Story: Rick Reitz
When Rick Reitz saw how rewarding volunteering at MD Anderson was for his wife, he decided to give it a whirl. Thirteen years later, he still loves every minute of it.
“My wife, Pam, started volunteering at MD Anderson when a good friend of ours had cancer surgery there,” he says. “Pam was so impressed with every aspect of MD Anderson that she immediately started to volunteer. After listening to the wonderful experiences she had every time she visited the hospital, I decided to try it too.”
Since he began volunteering, Reitz has been a floor host in Gastrointestinal Medicine and Nutrition. He also has served for nine years as chair of the Volunteer Endowment for Patient Support. Several years ago, he started a ticket program that accepts donations of unused tickets to sporting and cultural events, which Volunteer Services gives to patients and their families.
“The people I meet are going through some really rough times,” Reitz says. “I try to take their minds off the treatments and hospital stays. If I can put some fun and laughter into their lives, it really makes me feel great.”
Although Reitz has a demanding career as an oil broker, he’s on the job week in and week out. “I made a commitment to myself not to let business or personal matters interfere with my weekly MD Anderson visits,” he says. “I know how important it is to patients and their families for me to be there.”
It’s important and satisfying for him, as well. “Volunteering at MD Anderson is more rewarding than all the donation checks I’ve ever written,” he says.
He says it’s the people who make a difference. “I see so much love and compassionate caring from the people who work and volunteer at MD Anderson. That’s why I think we have the best hospital in the world.”