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Meet CHEO's volunteer of the year, baby cuddler Mary Grainger

_ (press release) _ The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is pleased to celebrate its Volunteer of the Year: Mary Grainger, a volunteer baby cuddler, who has brought comfort and healing to CHEO’s youngest patients since 1976.

For 40 years Mary has provided much needed comfort to tiny patients and their parents, and is someone that the nurses look forward to seeing each week. Mary started out helping in CHEO’s gift shop in the 1970s, before beginning her role as a cuddler/companion in CHEO’s intensive care and inpatient units. Mary also spends time at Roger’s House, a residential hospice that provides children and youth with respite and palliative care.

“I have the best job in the hospital,” says Mary.  “Each patient is so special – you just can’t help but to love them.” Over her many years at CHEO, she has seen long-term patients progress and grow up, while helping them and their families throughout their journey.

“Our dedicated volunteers play a vital role in the work we do here at CHEO, ensuring that our children, youth and families are the healthiest they can be. Today we are celebrating Mary Grainger for her continuous commitment over the past 40 years, and for the comfort she provides to so many of our most fragile patients,” says CHEO President and CEO Alex Munter.

The Volunteer of the Year is chosen from among nominations by CHEO staff and is presented each year by CHEO’s Volunteer Association. It recognizes outstanding CHEO volunteers whose contributions to the hospital, staff, patients and families stand out above others.  The award was presented at the CHEO Volunteer Association’s Annual General Meeting Wednesday evening by CHEO President and CEO, Alex Munter and CHEO Volunteer Association President, Susan Norquay. ** About CHEO ** The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) is Canada’s capital pediatric hospital and helps over 500,000 children and youth each year. CHEO has more than 2,500 doctors, nurses and staff dedicated to providing the best possible care for the children and youth of Eastern Ontario, Western Quebec, Nunavut and parts of Northern Ontario. CHEO also has more than 500 volunteers who contribute over 32,000 hours every year to helping kids and families be their healthiest.

CHEO works closely with the University of Ottawa as a teaching hospital and fosters groundbreaking research through the CHEO Research Institute. CHEO’s vision is to change young lives in our community, while our innovation changes young lives around the world.