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Positive Impact, Positive Attitude
Yasemin Yuceturk retired from a daily newspaper in Istanbul, Turkey, to make a difference in a new way.
Although her work as a journalist influenced many people, she wanted to make more of a personal impact. She decided to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald Family Room in Istanbul’s Marmara University Hospital.
As a volunteer, Yasemin’s role is to welcome families and help them feel at home. She serves tea and coffee, as well as homemade cakes. “You see and hear so much in the hospital,” Yasemin says. “Families endure a great deal of sorrow, pain and sometimes hopelessness. Often they just need someone who will listen.”
She says she feels a connection with every family she meets. But when she met Hasan, a 5-year-old boy who traveled to Istanbul to receive treatment for facial deformities, she knew she had made a special bond.
Usually a shy child, Hasan didn’t warm up to people — he rarely played with other children and was afraid to go to school. He was wary of doctors and other medical professionals treating him. But Hasan eventually opened up to Yasemin. He started talking to her and sharing his feelings. Gradually, Hasan’s outlook changed. Before long, he was laughing and playing with other children in the Ronald McDonald Family Room.
Hasan has been released from the hospital and has returned home. He has become more outgoing and self-confident and is back in school. Although Hasan must return to Istanbul for more surgeries, he knows Yasemin is there waiting for him in the Ronald McDonald Family Room.