A Volunteer’s Story

Infinite Compassion from Retired Oncology Nurse

Jan Murphy has been volunteering at the Coborn Healing Center for about a year, but her experience helping cancer patients goes back four decades.

Jan’s nursing career began with a small St. Cloud clinic in 1979. She was involved in oncology from the very beginning, although the clinic only had one chemo chair at the time. Jan — naturally empathetic and friendly — quickly found a passion for cancer patients. As the small clinic grew into the Coborn Cancer Center, Jan became a dedicated chemotherapy and infusion nurse. Motivated by genuine kindness for others, she cared for patients until she retired in 2018.

But after a year of retirement, Jan was still drawn to her work. “I began to realize how much I missed this important service. I felt like I had more to give to the community.” When Jan toured the newly opened Coborn Healing Center, she knew it was the place for her. “I felt like I needed to volunteer. I missed the work. More so, I missed getting to know the patients.”

Now, Jan’s days in the Healing Center are filled with hugs, tears, conversations and smiles. “It’s wonderful to sit, be empathetic and listen.” She told us, “As a nurse you have duties that keep you busy. As a volunteer it’s been great to have time and talk to people. I feel like I have more to offer those patients because of my background. I have a knowledge and understanding of what they’re going through.”

Always willing to lend an ear or share a smile, volunteers like Jan make the Healing Center a truly special place for cancer patients and their families. Alison Dahlin, Community Outreach Analyst at the Coborn Cancer Center said, “Jan’s experience, compassion, and caring are really important. We’re so lucky to have her.”

Find out more about Coborn Healing Center

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