Kelly Waddell has spent more than five years volunteering at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as an adviser for the Patient Family Advisory Council, as well as a member on the Intensive Care Unit Council. Both of her volunteer roles are part of Patient Family-Centered Care (PFCC), which encourages parents to share their experiences with hospital staff to help provide the best care possible.
Waddell’s son was born with a rare genetic disease, MPS 1 – Hurler Syndrome. For more than 16 years, her family has come to St. Jude so that her son can receive treatment.
When Waddell learned of the PFCC volunteer initiatives, she viewed it as an opportunity to be an integral part of an important group and to work closely with staff who saved her son’s life.
“To be able to give back a very small portion of what has been given to my family, or to help prepare the way for kids and families of the future… that is immeasurable,” she said.
Waddell has found that when volunteering at St. Jude, it is impossible to have a bad day. She enjoys seeing the children and families who are affected by her work, and she highly recommends that St. Jude parents volunteer with PFCC.
“We are to love not only with words, but with our actions, serving others,” she said.
Waddell says she enjoys spending time with her family and her church community. She also works as an estate coordinator with ALSAC, managing the legacy gifts left to St. Jude.