You are using an unsupported browser. Please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge.
The one hundred honoree: James Gillespie

Donor Story

The one hundred honoree: James Gillespie

Mass General Giving

When patients arrive at the Adult Infusion Unit at the Mass General Cancer Center, located on the eighth floor of the Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, for their first chemotherapy treatment, many feel utterly alone even if they are accompanied by loved ones. Once they enter the unit, compassionate clinicians engage them in superb care. Additionally, a group of dedicated volunteers keeps patients in touch with life beyond treatment, providing companionship, serving lunch and swapping stories of all kinds.

The dean of this devoted team is Jim Gillespie, a retired insurance executive who, since February 1996, has volunteered in the infusion unit three days a week. Patients gravitate to Jim, who is always alert to whatever might brighten their day. When a frail patient hankered for a turkey-on-rye, Jim obtained the nurse’s permission to fetch one from the cafeteria, knowing that the patient’s desire to eat was itself a blessing.

Jim inspires and mentors new volunteers, demonstrating to them how to serve patients with wisdom, instinct and heart.