Life Care Centers of America recognized the contributions of volunteer Emma Cummings during the company’s annual management meeting awards dinner at its headquarters in Cleveland.
Fourteen-year-old Ms. Cummings received Life Care’s Youth Volunteer of the Year Award. This honor is presented to one young person each year for extraordinary volunteer service.
Ms. Cummings has been volunteering at Life Care Center of Cleveland since she was four-years-old, when her grandmother Shelby Presswood brought her to volunteer alongside her. As Ms. Cummings grew up, she never stopped coming to visit and assist with activities, from bingo to group exercises. She would volunteer after school and during the summer.
In April 2016, Ms. Cummings was diagnosed with bone cancer and began treatments, including chemotherapy.
“When doctors gave her clearance, she found herself volunteering in her own wheelchair at Life Care Center of Cleveland,” said Josh Lee, interim executive director at the facility. “Everyone, including associates and visitors, saw how courageous and dedicated she was to return to volunteering, especially since she was going through so much herself.”
Ms. Cummings has since been declared cancer-free.
“There’s nothing I like more than helping other people,” Ms. Cummings shared.
"She may be only 14-years-old, but Emma Cummings shows a level of maturity that exceeds that of many grownups,” said Beecher Hunter, Life Care president. “Her desire to have a positive impact on people was dramatically shown when she refused to let cancer treatments get in her way of serving at Life Care Center of Cleveland – even from her wheelchair. We are extremely impressed with her character and commitment.”
The Youth Volunteer Award is presented annually to a volunteer age 18 or younger. Nominations from every region and division of Life Care are considered. Criteria include contributing a significant amount of time to a specific activity or service, initiating a new program or activity, serving as an excellent example for other individual youth or youth groups and producing positive changes through the volunteer activity or service.
Life Care Center of Cleveland is at 3530 Keith St., NW.