Max Shafer could be the poster boy for Random Acts of Kindness.
Max is a very busy young man. In addition to being a sophomore pre-med student at the University of Dayton, carrying a grade point average that qualifies for membership in the pre-med honors society, and being involved in UD theater and improvisation groups, Max finds time to volunteer at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton. We are grateful he finds time to fit us in.
Irene Golba was grateful the day Max stopped by to visit with her. They are pictured above sharing a chat in the Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton Hospice House.
Matt serves as a volunteer Ambassador, welcoming patients and families to the Hospice House on Wilmington Avenue. He provides tours and helps them get their bearings. He spends time visiting with patients in need of company. He loves the variety of what he does and the opportunities it presents. “I get to meet people from all over,” Max shares enthusiastically. “I hear lots of stories and get a variety of viewpoints. Most of the people I encounter have a different experience from mine, so I learn a lot.”
Max choose to volunteer at Ohio’s Hospice of Dayton after his own family had experience with hospice support. “My grandmother had Alzheimer’s Disease and lived with my family for the last five years of her life,” Max explains. “Hospice helped make that so much easier. I knew I wanted to volunteer in a healthcare environment, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to give back.”
Max finds inspiration in many of his conversations with patients. “Their experience is different from that of my generation. Not everyone went to college. They had bigger families. They often worked only one job their entire life. They sometimes share regrets, and often warn me against smoking. But I find that the patients have come to terms with their situation and are more positive than you think. They are trying to enjoy themselves as best they can in the limited time they have left. It seems to hit the family members much harder than the patient.”
Max’s goals include attending medical school anywhere in Ohio – with a preference for Ohio State University – to become a pediatrician. We are happy he has decided to hone his bedside manner with hospice patients but are confident he will be equally engaged and engaging when serving a younger generation a few years from now.