Lending a helping hand

Marianne VanZyll
Marianne VanZyll

The Arizona Cancer Center - North Campus is a beautiful building with a warm, welcoming feeling. Part of its friendly atmosphere is due to the efforts of Marianne VanZyll who has been a volunteer at the Arizona Cancer Center for the past 17 years helping nurses and comforting patients. 

Last summer VanZyll began distributing flowers throughout the clinic each week. She picks up bouquets from a Trader Joe’s where she has befriended the assistant manager whose wife was treated at the Cancer Center.

“The flowers brighten up the place,” she said as she arranged the blooms.

VanZyll also distributes cookies to patients, which are donated by Paradise Bakery, and collects and recycles soda cans from the clinic and Gold’s Gym, where she works out, and contributes the proceeds to buy lunch for patients who cannot afford it.

With her dedication and enthusiasm, VanZyll has also recruited new Cancer Center volunteers.

“My husband passed away from cancer, but that’s not really why I began volunteering here,” she said. “My son was dating a lovely girl at the time and she was volunteering at the Center. One day she asked if I would like to join her and I’ve never stopped since.”

The reason for her long-term volunteering is simple.

“I just try to bring smiles to the patients and help in any way I can,” she said.