Volunteer Spotlight: McKenzie Simon
Sky Ridge is pleased to recognize, McKenzie Simon, as its volunteer nominee for the Frist Humanitarian Award. The Frist Award recognizes those who "go beyond every day... to make a difference."
McKenzie is truly a success story both personally and for Sky Ridge. Her first introduction to Sky Ridge was as a patient back in December 2003. After spending seven days in the hospital, followed by a period of rehab, McKenzie is now leading a normal and very active lifestyle. What is normal for McKenzie however, is quite different than most teenagers.
She joined our volunteer team in early 2004 and has taken her personal experience and in essence created her own scoliosis support group for adolescents at Sky Ridge. She contacts patients before their procedures to offer reassurance, directs them to a variety of resources, and lets them know what to expect in an insightful and honest way. She furthers that relationship by meeting them during their recovery time on the floor, sharing her humor and goodwill. Afterwards, she places follow-up calls to these patients offering encouragement and extra motivation to speed their recovery.
In asking her what motivates her to volunteer and go these extra steps, McKenzie simply states that it's the sense of joy to help someone get through something she herself has experienced.
A junior at Littleton High School, McKenzie is a member of the National Honor Society and currently participates in the International Baccalaureate Program taking college level courses. Her long-term ambition is to become a veterinarian. A quote from our lead spine nurse gives a good idea of the impression McKenzie has made at Sky Ridge, "She's the kind of kid who grows up to become the President of the United States!" And we agree!