Volunteer Serves Up Ice Cream and Smiles

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Ryan Wagner, Volunteer with the UW Carbone Cancer Center, Scoops Ice Cream for cancer patientsMADISON - A regular volunteer in the UW Carbone Comprehensive Cancer Center Clinic's phlebotomy lab, Ryan Wagner came up with an idea to bring a smile to cancer patients, family members and staff, alike.

According to Wagner, he knew that giving people free ice cream would make people feel good.
"Who doesn't like ice cream," he asked. "Besides, it was my simple way of making cancer patients and their family members feel good and take their minds off of their troubles for awhile."

Ryan purchased UW-Madison's very own Babcock ice cream himself and spent two hours scooping ice cream with friends one afternoon in the Cancer Clinics' lobby.

"For anyone who has met Ryan, you just know he has a big heart," said Craig Robida, External Relations Manager of the UW Carbone Cancer Center. "When he approached me with the idea, I thought this is really awe-inspiring that this young man wants to selflessly give back to cancer patients and their family members. It is not every day that you see someone so young give back in such a simple, meaningful way."

In his volunteer role on Mondays and Thursdays, Wagner greets patients as they enter the Cancer Clinics and then helps them to their seat when their blood is drawn. After the patient's blood is drawn, he takes the vials from the phlebotomist, packages them and sends them for labwork.

Anyone interested in volunteering or planning a special event for the Cancer Center, can contact Craig Robida.
Pictured above: Ryan Wagner with the ice cream cart

Date Published: 08/14/2008

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