23 years ago, Marti Miller was introduced to the world of hospice when her mother was diagnosed with ALS.
“Everyone who visited from hospice was so passionate. Since then, I learned even more about the value of hospice care and decided I wanted to volunteer. It was my time to give back.”
She became a Crossroads Hospice Ultimate Giver in November of 2011 and now spends 6-7 hours a week visiting three of our patients.
“I sit with them. I do their nails. We share a meal,” she says. “One of the patients I visit turned 100 in March. I love visiting with her. She’s so wise!”
Marti believes the quote by DeAnn Hollis captures her mission: “The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of the commitment to make a difference in the lives of others. “
“You have to have a lot of patience. Be a good listener and be compassionate,” says Marti, “but the experience is so rewarding. I love my patients and they’re always excited to see me.”
Marti has had one patient with ALS like her mother.
ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig ’s disease. A progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, it leads to increased muscle weakness which can affect the arms, legs, speech, swallowing and breathing.
“That one was difficult. It brought back memories. But I could relate to her from my own experience.”
When not volunteering with Crossroads, Marti works at a busy orthopedic surgeon’s office. “Work can be stressful. Volunteering is my relaxation.”