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Side by Side

Annual Report - Winter 2012

Volunteer couple shares gifts of time and money

By Gail Goodwin

He’s often on the golf course and you can find her riding a bike, but Twilight and Marc Freedman become a pair when they volunteer at MD Anderson.

For years, Marc spent his days working in a family meat business, but after retiring he discovered that MD Anderson was the place where he wanted to give his time. In 2007, he began volunteering in the Ambulatory Treatment Center once a week and soon added more hours to his schedule.

Twilight, who had always volunteered in her children’s schools and in her neighborhood, soon joined Marc, working in the Patient/Family Center. Marc now volunteers four afternoons each week as a floor host/patient advocate, and Twilight is there for two.

Part of the magic

When asked what draws them to volunteer at the institution, Marc, the 2010 MD Anderson representative to the Texas Medical Center Salute to Volunteers, speaks up. “This place is just magic. It’s inspiring and rewarding, and I hate being away. We have met such wonderful people, both volunteers and patients, and we’ve developed great relationships.”

“I always heard from friends about the difference volunteers make,” Twilight says. “And I also have to say that it’s fun coming here with Marc. We don’t ride a tandem bike, but we do make a good team.”

The Freedmans give more than their time to MD Anderson patients. In 2001, the Twilight and Marc Freedman Foundation was established, and the institution was selected as one of its beneficiaries. As the couple learned more about it, they became more impressed. Today, a generous annual donation from the foundation is another gift of appreciation from the couple.

“We’ve discovered how great a difference we can make at MD Anderson every time we come here,” Marc says. “Twilight and I are so blessed to have our health and our wonderful family. To give back and to share these blessings make it so much better.”

Did you know? — Marc Freedman is one of 1,135 volunteers who give their time to more than 60 programs offered by MD Anderson’s Department of Volunteer Services. In his time at the institution, he has clocked 2,600 hours, while the total volunteer force recorded 200,064 hours in Fiscal Year 2011 alone. That equals 96 full-time employees.

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