15
May
2020
|
18:08 PM
America/New_York

A Purple Parade for a Courageous Caregiver

BY LISA MARIE HALECKY

The first time you meet Robin Bohanan, CRNP, like I did five years ago, you walked away with a lasting impression of a woman who loves people, all people. Her upbeat personality is infectious and her deep faith in God is evident.

Her impact on people was evident when colleagues learned that Robin is facing a terminal illness. I joined dozens of colleagues who honored Robin by driving past her home with horns blazing, purple surgical gloves and signs (her favorite color), playing one of her favorite upbeat songs, Happy by Pharnell Williams, and showering her with flowers and tokens of love.

Watch the video, listen to Robin’s words of wisdom and see for yourself why she is such an inspiration to others.

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A caregiver, wife, mother and friend

A registered nurse for 36 years, Robin went on to become a nurse practitioner in 2009. Her practice, LVPG Family Medicine­­­-Brookhill Plaza in Conyngham, serves 2,000 patients. A passion to serve others has always been a part of who she is. Robin calls her calling to care, “A gift from God.” Many people may not know this, but Robin also served in the Global Medic Force in Lesotho, Africa, training others to care for patients. She also inspires others to serve and encouraged her niece to follow in her footsteps and become a nurse practitioner.

Happily married to her husband, JP, for 30 years, a proud mother of two sons and a recently acquired daughter-in-law, Robin discovered on March 10 she has a rare cancer, cholangiocarcinoma, which affects 2,000 people a year in the United States. Receiving this type of diagnosis is a huge pill to swallow and Robin’s reaction was not unlike many others, except she is a clinician and understands it more clearly.

A Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute team led by her colleague hematologist oncologist Michael Evans, MD, began to care for the caregiver. Unfortunately, following two of the strongest chemo treatments available, the tumor had doubled in size. A decision to go on hospice and receive comfort measures was made.

A friend once said to Robin, “You never saved the best china and silverware, you served it first.” I believe this is the way Robin lives her life every day. Valuing people over material possessions. Focusing on the bright spots and helping others to learn and polish the dull ones. I am privileged to know her and to call her a colleague and friend.

 

About the Author
Lisa Marie Halecky has been the Community/Media Relations Specialist for Lehigh Valley Hospital - Hazelton since 2015, and she is #LVHNProud of her colleagues and her Hazleton community.