GIVING BACK TO OCHSNER IS ITS OWN REWARD
Six years ago, Pratt Landry III was diagnosed with central nervous system lymphoma, and while he admits it's been a rough journey, he recognizes that having cancer was a wake-up call that changed him for the better.
Now he continues to focus on staying well, appreciating his life, and doing what he can to help other cancer patients at Ochsner.
After his diagnosis, Pratt underwent chemotherapy at Ochsner. During his five-day periods of chemo, he would walk around the cancer unit and hang out in the family room with other patients. The staff at Ochsner began referring to the room as Pratt's office and invited him to volunteer when he was feeling well enough.
Soon Pratt began volunteering several days a week, visiting with patients and offering to get them food, ice or other items to make them more comfortable. Because he was a patient himself, Pratt related to other patients deeply. He enjoyed spending time with peers and says that his volunteering kept him going during his own treatments.
Defying the odds, Pratt is now in remission, which he attributes to "prayer, family, friends, nurses, doctors, staff and volunteers." He describes the staff at Ochsner as caring, friendly and highly skilled. "It's all about the patient," Pratt says. "They [the staff ] are the best in the world."
"I Get More Out of It Than I Put In"
In addition to his invaluable gift of time, Pratt also made donations to the cancer fund at the hospital in gratitude for the staff and what they did for him.
"I experienced it, I beat it," Pratt says. "They [the staff] took me as far as I am now, so I'm giving back. I know who they are and what they do, and I want to keep it going."
Today Pratt can still be found at Ochsner two mornings a week serving as a Cancer Survivor Volunteer. And while the patient benefits are immeasurable, Pratt freely admits that it's as rewarding for him as it is valuable to the patients.
"I come home refreshed knowing that I've accomplished something," he says. "I get more out of it than I put in."
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