'She is always so upbeat': Rush patient experience specialist shares personal journey

Diane Pathieu Image
Friday, March 22, 2024
Rush patient experience specialist shares personal journey
You don't have to travel far inside of Rush's Cancer Center to hear the sound of Miss Eunice Reed.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- She's been working at Rush Medical Center for over 10 years, most recently, in their new cancer center.

Just about every patient there knows her name, her face and her cheerful attitude.

What they don't know is the story of what brought Eunice Reed there in the first place.

It's a building many patient don't want to walk into: the cancer center at Rush.

But Eunice Reed takes moments of angst for patients and turns them into light. That's because she knows exactly how it feels to be there.

You don't have to travel far inside of Rush's Cancer Center to hear the sound of Miss Eunice Reed.

She is Rush's resident cheerleader, there to brighten the day of patients, patients that are feeling anxiety and often times facing the unknown.

"She is just so bright and cheerful," patient Yochanan Friedman said. "You come in, you feel all anxieties go away when you see her."

"As soon as we saw her today, you know she was very bright," caretaker Norma Ramos said. "She is always so upbeat. She's always makes sure everyone's gets seen"

She is the most positive, loving, caring individual one will meet. But behind this positivity is a sad story of how it all started.

"My husband had cancer," Reed said. "Rush was just so kind to not only my husband but for myself, so I wanted to do something for them so I decided to start volunteering,"

So as her husband got treatments, she tried to spread joy to others in the building. But then, the worst happened, her husband passed away.

The staff at Rush didn't want Eunice and her positivity to go away, so they asked her to stay and then years later, "They were looking for someone in the cancer center, and they thought of me and it was like perfect because that's where it all started," she said.

But, there was more bad news.

"My mom was diagnosed with rectal cancer, my father prostate, and my sister breast and it was like, after my husband had cancer it just seemed like it's just started like a roller coaster after my husband, it was my mom, my dad, then my sister, it just a lot ...and I just...it was overwhelming," Reed said.

Because of what she went through and continues to go through, she doesn't want patients to ever feel alone.

"I remember when I was sitting in that seat," Reed said. "I remember I would have wanted somebody to come over and say good morning lovely lady."

So she makes a choice, to smile, cheer you on, and encourage you, every step of the way. Even, when the journey is finally over and patients get to move on and live.