Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

First Impressions

Just how important is a first impression? For a job interview? Very. For a blind date? Very. But how about entering one of the largest cancer hospitals in the country? Yes, it first impressions are very important.

The very first thing you see as you enter the outpatient facility of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on Lexington Avenue in Manhattan is the concierge desk. And behind that desk is an angel like no other you can imagine. No, this angel has no wings, and is actually quite large, a man the size of a pro football player (this is my perspective as I only stand 5’7″). But unlike the aggressive football player, this giant is gentle.

His name is Nick. To many of us patients who visit MSKCC, he is known to us as “the Ambassador”. And he greets everyone as enthusiastically as the person before you, and after you. His initial greeting helps to put everyone at ease as they enter a very scary phase of their life, otherwise you would not be there. Nick offers encouragement, hope, and support to everyone he meets.

He is quite busy as he travels between MSKCC sites. I have often joked with his associates when he is not there, because MSKCC had other plans for him that day, that the hospital underestimates the value and importance of seeing Nick when we walk through the door.

I have known Nick for over six years now. He knows plenty about me, just as the thousands of others who have gone through those front doors. And now my visits include him asking about my father, battling his own cancer.

Nick is a very special man, and I will do everything I can to get him the recognition he truly deserves for making a difference in not only my life, but everyone he comes in contact.

Tonight, ABC News aired a special story on Nick. I am including the link below. Enjoy.

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/meet-nick-hugger-healer-23462925

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