Provincial Grand Lodge of Dorset

The official website of Dorset Freemasonry

News

For Province P0060 - Province of Dorset.

22nd

Apr. 2020

Steve dons a dark blue apron whilst volunteering at Dorset County Hospital

Steve Regan from Brownsea Island Lodge No 9689 has been volunteering on the cancer ward at Dorset County Hospital throughout the current Coronavirus crisis.

In quite a remarkable story, Steve was originally hospitalised whilst he was abroad and was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that resulted in radical surgery where most of his stomach was removed.

Sadly a few years later it returned with vengeance and he had the rest of his stomach removed along with half of his liver. This was followed by ten years of chemo with all the usual associated problems and having to adjust his whole life around the after effects of the surgery and treatment.

Steve's volunteering journey started when he attended a MacMillan course to became a 'Cancer Buddy' which is a system where, people with a rare or unusual cancer diagnosis can receive help, advice and guidance from a buddy.

Having someone who has gone through it rather than just reading about it is much more valuable and so far, Steve has buddied four people who live in the Dorset area. He says this is a bit like being a Masonic Mentor!

Steve started volunteer his work at Dorset County Hospital about three years ago and decided to help out on the cancer unit as a way of putting a bit back into the NHS system as they had quite literally saved his life on two separate occasions!

The work he carries out on the Fortuneswell unit consists of helping look after the outpatients, nurses and staff with admin tasks, regular trips pharmacy to pick up the chemo drugs for the patients and generally anything else that needs doing!

He also serves refreshments on the ward where the patients are generally more seriously ill and are confined to bed as inpatients for their treatment.

One of the big tasks during the current Coronavirus situation is the need for the utmost cleanliness, making sure the risk of infection to the sick patients is reduced as much as possible and ironically Steve now finds himself wearing a dark blue apron!

Steve says 'It's nice to sit down and have a casual chat with both in and outpatients, a lot are older and appreciate a friendly face especially when brandishing a cup of hot tea and a couple of digestive biscuits. It's nice to give something back and help vulnerable people in their moment of need and it's something I thoroughly enjoy'

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