A day in the life: Midwest Case Manager, Adina Mayer
Whenever I tell people that I work as a case manager for Chai Lifeline it’s immediately a conversation starter. What does that mean? What do you actually do?
At a mom’s event recently, one mom came up to me and said, “You really have the best, worst job.” And she is right.
The best work
Some days are absolutely the best. The best days look like taking a kid and his brother to the arcade and spoiling them with games and candy. Or when I get to celebrate the end of treatment with families on a bowling trip. Not to mention the Chai Lifeline parties and events where I get to be part of the team bringing excitement and smiles.
Not long ago I visited a family and right when I walked in the Chai Lifeline warrior gave me the biggest smile. I like to think of myself as a pretty fun person, but I think the reason for the big smile was much bigger than that. He smiles because he can feel how much I care and knows that I’m part of the team making all of these amazing things happen for him.
The harder work
Then there are the harder days when I’m rushing to the hospital bringing food and toys to someone who got admitted unexpectedly. Or finding out some unfortunate news and switching to crisis gear to make sure we can get them what they need whether it’s support, meals, toys, or volunteers.
There are a lot of bittersweet moments. Just thinking about how we sent a kid and his family to Disney World brings tears to my eyes. Watching him unpack the Disney swag I ordered and packed for him made me feel like I’m really making a difference in the world – one light-up mouse ears at a time.
It feels very fulfilling to me to be able to be there for families in the darkest hours. While it’s hard to not be able to take away their pain and what they’re going through (Oh, do I wish I had that magic power…) it is an incredible feeling to know I am adding even just a bit of light to that darkness.
Whether it’s the “best” days or the “worst” days, I love what I do. It feels like such a blessing to be able to jump in and give to people when they need it most. If I had to pick a favorite part of my job, it would definitely be connecting with the kids and families. I’m really a kid at heart, so getting to have fun with the kids at parties, events and visits is definitely a highlight for me.
If you want to help me “Do More,” please consider making a donation to Chai Lifeline Midwest during our annual campaign – Chai Lifeline: It’s Time to Do More