A colorful painting is displayed just inside the entrance to the Cancer Resource Center. Across the top are the words: “Enjoy Every Day.” A patient created the artwork, and Lindsay Syswerda has adopted the words.
“I look at our mission in as to help others enjoy every day because you’re never guaranteed tomorrow. So it’s important to find happiness in everything you have,” said Syswerda, who obtained her Bachelors Degree in public health promotion & education from Central Michigan University.
Syswerda moved to Indianapolis from Grand Rapids with her husband Curtis who is pursuing a degree in energy engineering at IUPUI. Prior to joining IU Health Syswerda worked for a Michigan health system in events and relationship building and has also worked with volunteer programs in an adult cancer service line.
One of her first goals is to beef up the volunteer program and provide meaningful experiences for volunteers with the Cancer Resource Center. “A lot of people want to give back. This volunteer role is ideal for cancer survivors or caregivers as well as retirees and individuals who enjoy interacting and helping others,” said Syswerda.
The Cancer Resource Center provides information for classes/events, educational resources, support groups, and other resources at IU Health Simon Cancer Center and within the community.
“We are looking for volunteers to help connect patients, families and caregivers to local community resources to assist them during their cancer journey,” said Syswerda. Cancer Resource Center volunteers are trained by IU Health Simon Cancer Center as well as the five partner agencies: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen, The Little Red Door and Cancer Support Community.
In her new role Syswerda will also oversee the activities of the CompleteLife Program that provides such services as yoga, massage, art and music therapy to patients, family members and IU Health team members. A cosmetologist is also part of the Cancer Resource Center and provides cancer patients with haircuts and wig fittings.
“The CompleteLife program has some wonderful experts in their fields and I want to support that and find ways we can enhance that,” said Syswerda.
Some of the upcoming activities include: Lunchtime music, family and friends caregiver support (both on Thursdays); and the First Monday Cancer Support Group (October 2). The wig bank is open twice a week, a caregiver massage chair is available on Tuesdays, and “Creating Hope,” a watercolor workshop is offered on Thursdays. A complete list of events can be found here.
“I really believe that it’s our mission to help others find some joy in their lives every day during one of the toughest times – whether that’s through yoga, music, art or some other holistic approach,” said Syswerda.
Here are a few more things about Syswerda:
- Her creative outlet is floral arranging. She enjoys working with wedding parties to design and create bouquets okc for the special day.
- She doesn’t consider herself “outdoorsy” although she does enjoy kayaking and biking.
- She took a yoga class in college that started her love for the relaxation technique.
- She loves arts and crafts and at one time thought she might become an interior designer.
— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health.
Reach Banes via email at T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.