Hospital Volunteer Revolutionizes Her Retirement

When David and Linda Cochran sit at the dinner table each evening, they have plenty to talk about. That’s because this Reed City couple is packing their retirement years with experiences that give back to the community. Living at a different pace than her days as Senior Mortgage Loan Closer for Comerica Bank, Linda Cochran donates her time to the Women’s Moose Lodge and cancer services at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital.

However, her journey with cancer care began on a much more personal note. In 2006, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “When cancer touched my life I turned to Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital, and was shown excellent care and concern,” she says. “Now I’m on a mission to help other patients and families, whether they just need an ear to listen or hand to hold.”

Beyond her connection with patients, Cochran has developed a close bond with the infusion therapy center staff. “When I was a patient, the doctors and nurses went far beyond meeting my medical needs; they became just like my family,” she adds. Irene Balowski, RN, director of cancer services, adds that Linda is an important member of the cancer care team at Spectrum. “Her openness to share her story and relate to our patients individually is irreplaceable. We appreciate her gift of time and talent each and every day.”

The Cochrans join a growing trend of highly skilled retirees that are motivated to hit the streets of their community in search of meaning, value and enrichment in their lives. At Linda’s suggestion, her husband David and their dog Buddy became involved with Therapy Dogs International and now volunteer at the hospital through the Pet Therapy Program. More than 35 volunteers have found the answer at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital, which is celebrating their service during National Volunteer Week April 27 to May 3.

“Whether you are a college student or baby boomer we welcome you to consider a volunteer position within our walls. From participating in our pet therapy program to visiting the elders in the skilled nursing facility, you can play an important role in extending the hospital’s healing mission,” says Christie Carlson, development and volunteer services coordinator. “By following in the footsteps of community leaders like Linda and David, you’ll gain experiences and memories that last a lifetime.”

For more information on current volunteer positions available at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital, visit our volunteer section  or call (231) 832-7184.