Volunteer Appreciation Week: A Journey of 60,000 Words

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CaringBridge Volunteer

“If I can help even one person begin sharing their journey with others, I will be grateful,” – Alicia Razvi

Alicia volunteers for CaringBridge, responding to customer needs. She’s there for people on day 1 of their health journey. And she’s grateful to help families share their journey, because she’s been there.

Just after the birth of their third child, her husband Shabbar began feeling poorly. Multiple suspicious symptoms led an ER doctor to order a complete blood culture resulting in a sky high – and climbing – white blood count. Alone in a clinic, Shabbar received the unofficial diagnosis – Leukemia.

The Short and Long Road Ahead

Alicia recalls, “To Shabbar, there was relief that these symptoms finally had a name and means of treatment. To me, I knew my 32-year-old husband had cancer. I knew I was more frightened than I had ever been.”

“I knew I was more frightened than I had ever been.”

Alicia started a CaringBridge website for Shabbar in the earliest days in the hospital.

“Through our daily CaringBridge updates, we were able to connect with and hear from relatives and friends from all over the world,” Alicia said. “All I had to do was share the news and instantly people could follow his journey to health.”

And, the journey was far from over. Shabbar underwent 5 weeks of chemotherapy to kill off all the cancerous cells and put him into remission.

The type of cancer he had required a bone marrow transplant and a long stint in isolation – 100 days. Thankfully, Shabbar’s brother was a perfect match for the bone marrow transplant. While in isolation, Shabbar had to stay separated from his three young children.

A Lifeline to Their World of Support

The road was long as family pulled together to support Alicia as she juggled caring for both Shabbar and their children.

CaringBridge served as a lifeline to their large network of loved ones. “Most powerfully, when we needed prayer and good energy sent our way, we got it. We are a Muslim family and it was very amazing to hear from Shabbar’s extended Muslim family, my extended Catholic and Christian family – and our mindful friends of every path. We had so many people lifting our family up with each post they received.”

After Day 100

When the 100 days of isolation ended, Alicia says they were ready to move on with their lives, but leaving behind the connection with friends and family through CaringBridge was very difficult.

“I could write about all the hardships, setbacks, successes and miracles we experienced. CaringBridge became a gift of sharing the journey, unloading the burden and bringing attention to the ordinary miracles all around us every day.”

“This is our amassed journey of 60,000 words that will always be there to help us remember what it was we endured and what an amazing gift our lives are.”

This year, to celebrate Shabbar’s 3 year bone marrow birthday, Alicia started volunteering with CaringBridge. She is a vital part to ensuring that CaringBridge has the best customer care team possible. She’s impacting the lives of others who may be at day 1 of their journey.

“If I can help even one person begin sharing their journey with others, I will be grateful.”

Celebrating Service During Volunteer Appreciation Week

April 12-18 is National Volunteer Appreciation Week. We are so grateful for every one of our volunteers who makes a difference for families during a health journey.

See the many ways you can join Alicia and volunteer for CaringBridge. You can volunteer from anywhere, even online. Please join us.

Comments (3)

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Accident Data Center Apr 21, 2015 5:50pm
Thank you for the caring generosity that drive non-profits and the public relies on for support!
deanna Apr 21, 2015 5:48pm
What a lovely perspective on the compassion of a single volunteer. So human and so rich. We need more people like Alicia in this world.
Alicia Razvi Apr 16, 2015 3:29pm
Thank you Ronda for putting this story together for us! It looks fantastic and shows just how grateful we were for CaringBridge on the journey and how happy we are to have Alicia volunteer these days. --The Razvi Family