“My cheeks hurt from smiling all day long.”

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(Katherine C. Cohen/Boston Children’s Hospital)

Paul Kadzis (“PK”)

Navigator

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I’m on the Navigator team. We offer a warm greeting — either “Welcome” or “Welcome back” — and then we ask, “Is there anything we can help you with?”

It’s a big hospital. Families are stressed. We’re here to de-stress them. Most of the time, people just need a little kindness.

A few months ago, I saw a woman sitting in the lobby who I could tell was emotionally spent. When I asked if I could help, she said, “I just can’t be strong anymore.”

Her son hadn’t been responding well to treatments, so they had come here to try something new. I said, “Look, we’re only human, it’s all right. You know what you need to do? You need to go home, get your nails done, take care of you. I’ll keep your son on my prayer list.”

And then I saw her two days later, together with her son. He was responding incredibly well to the treatment. She told me what I said was important to her and made a difference.

That’s what I love the most about my job — helping out people who are off track a little bit. I can’t walk by anyone in trouble. I just can’t do it. I’ve always been a giver, not a taker. It’s my nature.

My mom was physically challenged, while I was growing up. She was an incredible woman. Her courage, strength and sense of humor — despite unbelievable pain — are why I’m good at what I do.

People tell me that I’m always smiling. My cheeks hurt from smiling at these little ones all day long. I keep a list of the cutest kids, and they’re all on my list.

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care-team-logoCaring for patients is a true team effort. Care Team highlights the dedication of the people throughout Boston Children’s who do their part to comfort and support patient families each and every day.