Ann McAnally joined the Desoto location’s Red Apron WINGS volunteers with her late husband over 12 years ago. In November of 2016, she was presented with a bronze medal for the WINGS Above and Beyond Award – having completed nearly 250 service hours in the previous year alone. When her husband – and volunteer partner – passed away, he requested donations be made to West Cancer Center’s WINGS Supportive Care Division – a place that was always dear to him.
Ann was diagnosed with colon cancer over 15 years ago and was cared for by Dr. Ben Wheeler. When she heard about West Cancer Center’s volunteer program, she instantly knew it was something she desired to invest her time in because of all it stood for – providing patients with the most compassionate care. Ann’s personal experience with cancer – as both a caregiver and a patient – has provided her with in the insight and ability to relate to patients going through their cancer journey. She hopes that patients use her personal journey as motivation to keep fighting.
“I want patients to know how far we’ve come in the field of oncology care and research,” says Ann. “A cancer diagnosis isn’t what it used to be – there’s hope now and new therapies being discovered every day.”
Cancer has touched the life of nearly every member of Ann’s family over the years. Despite the toll this disease has had on Ann, she believes she was called to volunteer at West Cancer Center to spread her positive outlook to others. “No matter their attitude, these patients are going to have to fight their disease. It’s critical that they made the choice to fight it with determination.”