Jon Smeenge, Hematology/Oncology
November 2014 Golden Rose Recipient
Submitted by a patient
It has been said "Cancer is a club you do not want to join." Getting a diagnosis of a serious and rare stage IV cancer is devastating. Navigating through the excruciating reality of cancer can be overwhelming. I will always remember the first day of chemotherapy. Jon Smeenge came out to get me from the lobby in colorful scrubs. Jon was there with a big smile welcoming me to the unit. He made sure I was comfortable and got me some hot tea. Jon was so engaging and funny. The first day I remember getting up to use the restroom a lot. I said to Jon "I think I've been up twelve times." He said "Next time we can park you and your chair in the bathroom." I laughed a lot and was comforted knowing this great soul would be there for me in two weeks for the next round of chemo. As months of intensive chemotherapy wore on, Jon was always the same - funny, engaging, kind, supportive, and helpful. Jon gives every ounce of energy to the patients on the oncology unit. He works tirelessly, efficiently, effectively and compassionately in everything he does. Jon performs his job with a zest and a love for people beyond measure. To the patients he is the face of outpatient oncology at The Center for Health and Healing. The "Golden Rose" is a wonderful honor. I am pleased that Jon, who is such a professional as well as a profound person, is receiving this award. I strongly believe Jon deserves this award and much more. I suggest a statue or a wing of a hospital named after him. Jon makes life bearable and is a blessing to all of those he encounters who have unwittingly joined the “cancer club.” Jon is a shining example of a professional who affirms hope, health, and healing with humor and humility.