February 23, 2010, ST. LOUIS - Nurses and staff from the Siteman Cancer Center infusion area showed their appreciation February 16 to a patient who came up with a creative way to help out friends who’ve helped him during a difficult cancer fight.
Robert Champlin, a leukemia patient from Alton, IL, built from scratch a wooden podium to be the centerpiece of the Siteman Cancer Center book club. Nurses Joyce Divanbeigi, Laura Preifke, Kelly McKibben, Sara Caldieraro and Kylie Latham, Siteman volunteer coordinator, presented Champlin and his wife Mary Beth with a plaque honoring him for his efforts.
“They had a need and it was the least I could do to show my appreciation,” says Champlin. “These nurses are a wonderful bunch.”
Although he is slowed by illness, Champlin worked for six months building the podium, which features a hand crafted wooden “book” as the top.
The book club is an ongoing book exchange between patients, families and staff at Siteman. The podium will sit between two giant bookshelves on the 7th floor of the Center for Advanced Medicine to house the book club’s checkout journal.