Like many Sanford Health locations, you’ll find a team of valet members greeting guests at Sanford Roger Maris Cancer Center in Fargo. That includes Chuck Wickenheiser, whose reason for working is personal.
“Actually I used to bring my father to his cancer treatments,” Wickenheiser said. “When I retired I wanted to give back.”
His work here is much different from his military past. Members of the valet team don’t just park cars, they try to be friendly and welcoming. They even get to know the patients.
“I see a smile on their face if we know their name and can call them by their name,” Wickenheiser said. “They look a little more at ease rather than anxious when they’re coming to their appointments.”
It can be tough work. North Dakota weather is extreme. However, Wickenheiser said this labor of love is worth it, especially when you consider who is driving up.
“I guess I can’t say I have a bad day anymore in life after seeing and witnessing what some of these patients are going through,” he said.
Under his winter coat you’ll find three important stars and an angel. These are symbols of awards he’s received on the job — most recently for noticing a woman was having a stroke and calling for help.
“It’s nice to hear a thank you,” Wickenheiser said. “For me that would have been enough. I didn’t come here for that. This is my way to give back.”
That’s why you’ll find him offering services, greeting and parking, five days a week.