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The one hundred honoree: Ellen Zellner

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: Ellen Zellner

Mass General Giving

Ellen Zellner has volunteered every Tuesday afternoon for 14 years in the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Mass General Cancer Center, surpassing more than 2,000 hours of service. Yet, every patient she visits receives the same attention and care as if it were her first day.

Ellen combines offering a cup of juice and a snack with an”unbelievable capacity for empathy,” in the words of Milton Calderon, MGH Volunteer Program Coordinator. Patients and families facing difficult situations connect easily with her, sharing their worries and often a laugh, and they—along with the department’s caregivers—have come to rely on her steady presence.

Her loyalty, reliabilty and years of experience have also made her a key trainer of new volunteers coming up the ranks. Mr. Calderon describers her quality of service as “an example to follow.”

Despite reaching the 2,000-hour milestone, she has yet to slow down, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see her reach the 4,000-hour milestone. Ellen’s commitment to the patients and families at the Mass General Cancer Center goes beyond her volunteerism. She supports the MGH Fund and has made a generous bequest intention to support patient care, research and the overall mission of the hospital.

For those coping with radiation on Tuesday afternoons, Ellen’s compassion helps make their treatment as comfortable as possible.