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Opal Phillips of Lawrenceburg was honored this fall with a National Volunteer Award during the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s clinical team conference held in Kansas City in September, according to a Hospice of the Bluegrass release.
The National Council of Hospice and Palliative Professionals and the National Hospice Foundation selected Phillips as the 2013 Volunteers are the Foundation of Hospice Award recipient in the category of Organizational Support, the release said.
According to the release, Phillips has been a volunteer at the Hospice of the Bluegrass Frankfort office for the past 11 years.
“In logging more than 5,000 hours of volunteer work since 2002, Phillips has provided respite care and transportation services, conducted oral history projects with patients and delivered meals to the homes of hospice patients,” according to an article about Phillips’ award in a Hospice of the Bluegrass publication.
“She has served as a buddy at children’s grief camps and has a special heart for veterans — she played a key role in hospice’s new ‘We Honor Veterans’ program.
“’For the children who have been hurt because they lost someone close to them, we teach them tools and give them a safe place to be,’” Phillips was quoted as saying in her speech after accepting her award.
“’I also feel the strongest for the veterans of the Vietnam War. They came home and people were ashamed of them, so it makes me feel especially proud to help them and their families,’” she said.
Phillips is a 65-year-old grandmother of four, and has maintained her duties as a volunteer despite being diagnosed with cancer two years ago, according to the article in the Hospice of the Bluegrass publication.
“She has undergone six surgeries, wears a brace on her leg and is currently undergoing treatment for throat cancer,” the article said.
“But don’t you dare feel sorry for her. She won’t stand for it,” the article continued.
“’I’ve got some health issues, so what?’ Phillips said in a voice that is country strong. ‘It’s not stopping me and it’s not going to get me. God is not through with me yet.’”