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Jim Cusick: Delivering Hope
By Julia Pine
Jim Cusick was diagnosed in 2005. It was life changing, as cancer always is, but Jim wasn’t going to give up. Unhappy with his experience at a local hospital, he was fortunate enough to find City of Hope, where his life would not only change again, but be saved.
City of Hope, which happens to be the official charity of the PGA Tour’s Northern Trust Open, is a cancer research hospital and treatment center located in Duarte, Calif. Jim and his family were blown away upon their first visit.
“This place is just different,” Jim says, with the type of heartfelt sincerity that eliminates the cliché nature of that phrase. “I finished my first visit with the doctor and my wife and I were walking out the door and she said, ‘This is where you’re going. This is where you need to be.’”
Part of what won the Cusicks over was the attentiveness and care City of Hope provides not only to patients, but also to a patient’s loved ones. Spouses, children, friends, and all who are affected by a cancer diagnosis are cared for equally.
These days, Jim spends eight hours at City of Hope giving back four times a week (when he’s not there, you can typically find him golfing at the Navy Golf Course in Seal Beach). His favorite part of volunteering, and by far the most meaningful, is the time he spends with patients. When patients arrive at City of Hope they have two commonalities: they have cancer, and they are scared to death. Jim knows that as well as anyone.
“You can ask a doctor how you’re doing, and they may say fine, but at times it can be hard to believe that,” Jim says. “Recently, I heard about a man who had been here 30 days and was starting to feel really discouraged. I figured I’d just go visit him. Sharing my personal experiences and coming from a place of really knowing what he was going through, I was able to give him a little bit of what he needed.”
Maybe it’s the optimism only a golfer knows, but clearly Jim brings something many cancer patients have trouble finding on their own. He brings hope.