90 Years Young Walter Reed Volunteer
Written by: Megan Sanko, volunteer
Long-time American Red Cross volunteer Mary Bochanis is an avid supporter of the work at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where she began volunteering during World War II. She still considers it to be a world-class hospital. It was at old Walter Reed Hospital where she met her husband of over 60 years, then a soldier and amputee. Bochanis feels her marriage offered her the ability to connect with both injured patients and their spouses on a personal level. She visits with them during her Comfort Cart rounds each week, distributing toiletries and snacks and having conversations along the way. The prosthesis technology available to amputees today continues to amaze Bochanis. Her outgoing and friendly nature is also an asset at the Children’s Inn at NIH, where she has volunteered for 25 years using her bilingual skills to interpret for Greek patients. At 90 years of age, Bochanis is thrilled to be able to volunteer at both locations and credits her interactions with patients and their families as her motivation to continue. She is grateful for the opportunity to give back, a feeling that is likely mutual for the many individuals to whom she has offered her kind support.