“The Donna M. Crandall Foundation has allowed me to access resources for people with CF and their families that would not ordinarily be available.”

John Nash, LMSW, recently celebrated his ninth year as the Albany Medical Center Cystic Fibrosis Center’s medical social worker, providing counseling, support and care to families and patients. In this role, he is also the liaison between the DMC Foundation and patients, the conduit through which patients reach out to the Foundation. John goes above the call of duty, going out of his way to do what is needed and dedicating much of his personal time to helping patients.
“One of the biggest challenges I have faced over the years is trying to help people understand that it takes great strength to ask for help and it’s O.K. to do so,” John said. “Our pride often gets in the way and eventually leads us to a point where the initial problem has become much more complicated because of our reluctance to ask for help.”
As the Foundation’s point person, John typically becomes aware of what patients need during routine visits with adult patients or pediatric patients and their parents in clinic. He tries to assist them in resolving problems, and if appropriate, encourages them to pursue social services or other resources available to CF patients. If there are no other options available, John recommends contacting the Crandall Foundation.
“The Donna M. Crandall Foundation has allowed me to access resources for people with CF and their families that would not ordinarily be available,” John explained. “Without the Foundation,” he said, “I would probably be in the position of having to say, ‘I’m sorry, but I can’t help you,’ more often.”
“When a family is living on the edge financially and is on the verge of losing their home and I tell them I know where they can get help, the tears of joy are overwhelming,” he recounted.
John pointed out that the level of assistance provided by the DMC Foundation runs the gamut, from gift bags for inpatients to substantial financial aid, and that it all makes a difference.
When asked about the most memorable situations, he recalled the parents of a child being admitted to the hospital for the first time for more aggressive treatment and how the Crandall goodie bag helped ease the fear that was consuming them. He also  mentioned the tears of a family who had a child die from CF and how learning the Foundation would help pay for funeral expenses provided comfort at a very difficult time.
“My primary goal is to work toward decreasing the suffering of those I serve,” John said. “I would be much less able to do so without the generosity of those who open their hearts and wallets in support of the foundation. I wish they could see what a difference they are making.”

Posted on:  November 18, 2009