Pam Grieco

Pamela Grieco, Chemo-room & Sweetheart Auction Volunteer

Volunteer to patient and back again: Pamela Grieco’s inspiring story 

Three years ago, Pam Grieco’s life turned unexpectedly when she discovered a lump during a self-exam. What followed was a whirlwind of rapid medical assessments and the grim diagnosis of triple-negative invasive ductal carcinoma, a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer. This discovery was made all the more poignant as Pam had been an active volunteer at the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico, familiar with the very chairs and rooms where she would soon undergo chemotherapy.

Pam’s journey through cancer was not just a battle against a relentless disease but also a profound voyage back to a community that had already shaped much of her life. Before her diagnosis, she had volunteered in the chemo room, unknowingly preparing herself for what was to come. Her return to the Foundation as a patient felt like a homecoming, surrounded by familiar faces, including volunteers and medical staff who had become like family.

During her treatment, which included chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery, Pam found solace and strength in the support provided by her care team and her personal connections within the community. Her sister-in-law, a retired oncology nurse, accompanied her to every appointment, providing not just emotional support but also expert guidance through the complicated treatment process.

After completing her treatment, Pam faced the reality of life post-cancer, dealing with the lingering effects of chemotherapy and the emotional aftermath of her ordeal. Yet, her experience has imbued her with a renewed passion for volunteerism and advocacy. She recognized a gap in support for those receiving their initial cancer diagnoses alone—a moment of profound vulnerability. Inspired, Pam is determined to use her counseling degree to advocate for these patients, ensuring they receive the same compassion and support she found invaluable.

Pam’s story is one of resilience and transformation. Her journey through cancer has not only been a personal battle but also a catalyst for giving back to the community that supported her through her darkest times. As she reflects on her experience, she sees her cancer not just as a challenge but as a gift—an opportunity to live with a heightened appreciation for life and to serve those who face similar battles.

In sharing her story, Pam hopes to inspire current and future volunteers at the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico, highlighting the profound impact compassionate volunteerism can have on patients navigating the fears and challenges of cancer treatment. Her life, profoundly touched by her experiences, exemplifies the powerful interplay of personal adversity and community support, making Pam Grieco a beacon of hope and a pillar of the volunteer community.