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“I’m blessed,” says Rev. Dr. Freida Green of Detroit, Michigan. Despite two rounds of cancer surgery and treatment, plus a shoulder replacement, Freida has been a volunteer at Henry Ford Hospital since 1972. She began as a volunteer in pastoral care, since her number one passion is serving the Lord, and spent most of her free time outside of her job in the Henry Ford Hospital cafeteria volunteering. Currently, Freida hosts monthly orientation classes for new volunteers, and visits patients in Hospice care. Walking down the hall of Henry Ford Hospital, she greets and talks with several volunteers and staff members, who have all been touched by Freida’s passion for helping people.
In May, Freida will be a 5-year survivor of breast cancer. She encourages others to get regular mammograms and other recommended cancer screenings, “If I hadn’t [had a mammogram], they never would have found it,” she said. Freida’s experiences with cancer did not weaken her dedication to volunteering. Though she had to take a few short breaks during treatments, she came back to Henry Ford as soon as she was able.
“I’m a people person. I love talking to people, and I know how to listen. Sometimes hearing someone else’s experience can help you out,” she said, “You never know when it could be you.” Freida’s support system was so important during her recovery from cancer. There were always family members, coworkers, and members from her Sunday School class calling or stopping by. Since her support system was so valuable to her during her recovery, she hopes to help others in a similar situation through companionship and faith.
Why does Freida spend so much time volunteering? She explains, “God’s work is helping others. God first, your neighbor second, and you last. This is where I get my inner strength and peace.”