Never-Ending Generosity: An Extraordinary Pediatric Oncology Nurse, Patient Advocate and Spiritual Healer
May 06, 2019 – James LaBelle, M.D., Ph.D.
Always Ready to Volunteer
April 15, 2019 – Dianne Rohald
Going the Extra Mile
April 16, 2019 – Cora Beth Hartfield
Part of the Family
April 17, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
Making a Dream Come True
April 18, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
The Embodiment of Caring and Support
April 24, 2019 – Shelley Fess, M.S., RN-BC, AOCN, CRNI, VA-BC
Born to Love and Serve
April 21, 2019 – Mellisa Wheeler, M.H.A., B.S.W.
Healing With Compassion and Grace
April 20, 2019 – Carolina Fasola, M.D., M.P.H.
Forming Lifelong Bonds
April 18, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
Making a Dream Come True
April 18, 2019 – Kathy LaTour
Currently Viewing
A Great Nurse and Friend
May 04, 2019 – Lois Adelman
A Beautiful Soul: An Oncology Nurse with Love, Compassion and Knowledge
May 11, 2019 – Teresa Corso
Two Lost People and an Angel
May 19, 2019 – Maria Campos
Taking Things One Day at a Time
May 18, 2019 – Alvin David, B.S.N., RN-BC

A Great Nurse and Friend

When you are first told that you’re sick, very sick, it’s like a kick in the head. It leaves you stunned and not quite sure which way to turn. If you’re as lucky as I was, you have Sandy Allen-Bard, NP, to turn to.
BY Lois Adelman
PUBLISHED May 04, 2019
When you are first told that you’re sick, very sick, it’s like a kick in the head. It leaves you stunned and not quite sure which way to turn. If you’re as lucky as I was, you have Sandy Allen-Bard, NP, to turn to.

My doctor told me about Sandy — how wonderful she was, how I would … I don’t remember, because at the time, it all went in one ear and out the other. The only thing I somehow managed to retain was that I had leukemia and would need to start chemotherapy rather quickly.

So, who this Sandy Allen-Bard was, I will now shamefully admit, fell on somewhat deaf ears. My first actual meeting with her was when I was in the hospital, attached to a drip of … something. We spoke for a while and then she left. I remember thinking, “Gee, she’s like a real person.” Understand that when you are going through this ordeal, people whisk in and out of your room (and your life) asking questions that you have answered a million times, checking your body for numbers, hooking and unhooking you, poking, prodding, whispering. They come, they go.

But Sandy was there, really there. She sat and talked with me. She asked me something, waited for an answer and then actually waited some more, just in case I had a question. Wow! She just gets it; she realizes that attached to every medical device is a human being who is dealing with so much.


From left: Sandy Allen-Bard, NP, and Lois Adelman. Photos by Bob Rives

Yes, medicine can “cure,” and no one knows this better than Sandy. I can’t tell you the number of times I was on the edge of an emotional breakdown, thinking I was finished, when Sandy would tweak my dosages and — bingo! — I lived. But anyone who has been really ill knows it takes a lot more than that to “heal” and that it’s not easy. Sandy understands this. No matter how her day has been, how many hours long or how stressful, she is there to listen.

Her day and devotion don’t end in the hospital. She has run support groups where people come together, form friendships and comfort each other. Frequently, she travels around the country, giving lectures and trying to expand knowledge and push for more research. Years ago, I egged her on to run a marathon with Team in Training, the endurance training and fundraising arm of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). Of course, she did it. Not only has she run marathons all over the world, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for LLS and research, she is now a Team in Training head coach and trains others to run while raising money for research. In addition to winning several “high fundraiser” awards at the state and national levels, she received the Robert de Villiers Spiral of Life Award in 2018. This honor is given by the family that founded the foundation now known as LLS in memory of their son, Robert, who died at the age of 16 in 1944. This award is given yearly to one person who has exhibited tireless efforts to improve the lives of patients with cancer. There is no better way to describe Sandy Allen-Bard: This has been and continues to be her mission.

It is now almost 15 years since Sandy first walked into my hospital room, and I can honestly say I was lucky enough to have the greatest nurse practitioner. I can also say I am just as lucky to have found a great friend for life.
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