When she was 12 years old, Aleeza Granote was watching TV and saw a accessible account advertisement for a advance befalling at a nursing home’s Alzheimer’s unit. She alleged and offered to help.
“My accompany anticipation I was crazy,” Granote said. “I was their youngest volunteer. I had never done it or been there, but it was abreast our house, so my parents alone me off there. I didn’t anticipate annihilation of it; I aloof enjoyed it.”
In average school, Granote helped out with a appropriate apprenticeship class, area she became accompany with accouchement with disabilities. During her academy acquaintance at Washington University, Granote alternate in AmeriCorps. In alum academy at Bradley University, she organized a campus-wide carnival at which the guests of account were underserved kids.
Years later, the developed Aleeza Granote continues her affection for allowance others, abnormally those adverse austere bloom issues, in her able activity and as a volunteer.
Granote is a pediatric oncology amusing artisan at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. She’s additionally a PJ Library ancestor agent and a lath affiliate of Spread Ari’s Light, a foundation to armamentarium ball therapy. In her additional time, Granote runs Card Affliction Connection, a nonprofit alignment she founded that provides admiring cards and hopeful letters to bodies with blight above the country.
“I like actuality able to accord aback to others and advice people,” she said. “Through my assignment as a amusing worker, there are so abounding hardships that bodies face, and actuality able to lift bodies up during a absolutely difficult time is affective for me.”
Her efforts at assignment generally go aloft and above the alarm of duty, which in 2018 becoming Granote the Cardinal Glennon Mission Award for allegorical the mission of the hospital: account to others.
“It was for a specific event,” Granote said. “A son was dying, and his dad was a barter disciplinarian in Texas so I formed cool adamantine to get the dad from Texas to St. Louis to the hospital so he could say goodbye afore his son died. He got actuality aural minutes. I abiding the flight, got him to the airport and got a badge escort. It was a miracle.”
Granote thrives on managing acutely absurd projects. One time, a adolescent accommodating was adulatory a anniversary birthday, and Granote abiding a fireworks affectation in his hometown of Salem, a baby burghal abreast Springfield, Mo.
Family: Married to Matthew Granote with two daughters, Ariella, 5, and Mariah, 2.
Home: Sunset Hills
Fun Fact: Granote catholic with her ancestors to 10 countries including Peru, Brazil, Japan and Israel by the time she angry 20.
“I affiliated with the blaze arch in Salem and with key stakeholders,” she said. “I had to amount out funding, I had to acquisition a fireworks company, and I had to amount out airspace. It was actual complex and it was expensive, so actuality able to cull that off was amazing.”
Complicated acumen don’t abash Granote aback she is focused on accomplishing a dream for a adolescent with cancer. That involves analogous with 65 accommodating organizations and alive with families adverse adverse medical diagnoses.
“My absolute role is to accommodate abutment during a absolutely abominable time,” she said. “These are families that their able activity turns upside down, so I absorb a lot of time acknowledging them and allegorical them through that journey, abutting them to resources, and accouterment psychosocial abutment and allowance with abrupt twists and turns, emotionally and financially.”
Granote generally forms a abutting band with the patients she meets, as she did with Arianna “Ari” Dougan, who absent her action with blight three years ago at age 11.
One of Arianna’s better admirers was Blues advanced Vladimir Tarasenko, who shemet in 2015 at the team’s Hockey Fights Blight night. Like Tarasenko, Granote became accompany with Ari and now volunteers with the foundation aggressive by the 11-year-old. The foundation gets an important addition from Granote, according to Lori Zucker, Arianna’s mother and architect of Spread Ari’s Light.
“Aleeza was additionally Arianna’s amusing artisan and helped and accurate our ancestors while Ari was in treatment,” Zucker said. “She has such a behemothic affection and would do whatever she can to abutment all the families at Cardinal Glennon. She has brought that aforementioned adherence to allowance the Spread Ari’s Light foundation.
“Aleeza has been such an basic allotment in the foundation’s advance and abounding of the things that we accept able and accomplished. She has volunteered her time to abutment our organization, but best importantly, aback our alignment helps accouchement angry cancer, Aleeza has been able to advice us to affix with these families as allotment of her job as a communication at Cardinal Glennon so that we can advice them in the best accessible way.”
Granote displays the aforementioned charge to confined others in her assignment with PJ Library,a affairs accouterment chargeless Jewish children’s books and ancestors activities for Jewish families, said Jennifer Baer, who works at Jewish Federation of St. Louis as the PJ Library affairs coordinator here.
“Prior to COVID, Aleeza captivated accidental meetups and baby programs about town. She has connected to ability out, virtually, to families alike now, extending a ample allurement to St. Louis PJ families, whoever they are and wherever they live,” Baer said. “Aleeza is consistently balmy and compassionate, and we are so advantageous to accept her on our PJ Library team.”
Ten years ago, forth with her added assignment and volunteering, Granote articular an unmet charge and created the nonprofit Card Affliction Connection, in which bodies accord their time to actualize handmade cards, and volunteers personalize a handwritten bulletin on anniversary one.
“They are letters of cheer,” Granote said. “We additionally accelerate alternate affliction bales to people, too, but primarily it’s cards. We get requests for cards advancing in from all above the country.”
Granote believes her drive to advice others was aggressive by her parents, decidedly her father, who emigrated from Israel and congenital a adjustment company. Now, Granote is casual on her spirit of giving and volunteerism to her children.
“My babe is accomplishing a kindergarten activity with all the things she’s accomplishing for the community, like donating, giving aback and any anatomy of tzedakah, which I anticipate is important,” she said.
Granote additionally recognizes the important role she plays in acknowledging families during a stressful, emotionally clarification time.
“I see the affliction that some bodies experience, and I absolutely accept I’m the apparatus to advice during such a difficult time,” Granote said. “Families assume to absolutely acknowledge annihilation that we can do, like altogether celebrations with bewitched cakes. Sometimes, it’s their aftermost birthdays, and parents appetite to authority on to those memories.”
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