Home » Volunteer brings comfort to Springfield cancer patients

Volunteer brings comfort to Springfield cancer patients

Guy Hazlewood    May 20, 2024    3 min read   

At the Mater Cancer Care Centre in Springfield, 67-year-old volunteer Maree Burns offers a unique blend of compassion and care to cancer patients undergoing treatment.

Maree, a dedicated nurse with over 350 hours of volunteer service at Mater Private Hospital Springfield, spends her weekly shifts providing hand and foot massages to patients, ensuring their comfort, and assisting the staff with various tasks.

Volunteer Maree Burns offers a unique blend of compassion and care to cancer patients undergoing treatment. Source: Renee Droop.

“I do a lot of things to help out the staff too,” Maree said.

“I get warm blankets for patients, restock the cupboards, and even help elderly patients order their meals. But talking and listening to patients is something I enjoy doing.”

During National Volunteers Week (May 20-26), Maree is sharing her story to encourage others to volunteer in their community.

With a background in nursing for Australia Wide First Aid, teaching CPR and First Aid, and previously working for Queensland Health, Maree took on a crucial role during the pandemic.

She travelled across Australia for nearly two years, administering Covid-19 vaccinations to regional communities in the Northern Territory, Tasmania, and Western Australia.

Maree is calling on the Greater Springfield community to join the team of over 15 volunteers at Mater Private Hospital Springfield.

Maree reflected on her experiences volunteering for people that needed it most.

“Recently a gentleman said how he had been beautifully treated, and that felt so lovely,” she said.

“He was vulnerable, he was palliative, and we took the time to make him feel comfortable.”

She also highlighted the deep connections she forms with patients.

“There is a lady in her nineties who comes in for treatment and knows she will be well looked after,” Maree said.

Maree brings tea to a patient. Source: Renee Droop

“She told me her days are numbered, but she smiles when she knows I am there for her and some people don’t have family or a friend to be with them during their treatment, so if I can make someone’s time in hospital better, then I will do my best.”

Maree has also volunteered as a marshal at the inaugural International Women’s Day Fun Run in Springfield in March and at the Kalbar Sunflower Festival in April.

Mater volunteer senior manager Judy Johnson emphasised the importance of volunteers like Maree in making a positive impact on the community.

“Our team of volunteers at Springfield cover about 20 shifts a week, performing various tasks including ward assistants, pet therapy, massage, and patient transport,” she said.

For those interested in volunteering, contact 3163 8599 or email volunteers@mater.org.au.

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Guy Hazlewood