Volunteer Spotlight: Inspiring Hope
How do you “give back” when your day job is curing cancer? For renowned pediatric and young adult oncologist, Dr. John Perentesis the answer is Our Daily Bread.
Since launching his medical career nearly four decades ago, Dr. Perentesis has established a national reputation as a leader in new anticancer drug discovery and development, and oncology research with a focus on young adult cancers. Originally from Detroit, Dr. Perentesis was recruited to work for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center (CCHMC) and University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in 2002. At CCHMC, he serves multiple roles: Director of the Division of Oncology, Executive Co-Director of the Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute, and the Deb Kleisinger Endowed Chair for New Cancer Therapies. Additionally, Perentesis serves as a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Cincinnati and in several leadership roles for the Children’s Oncology Group (COG), the world’s largest organization devoted exclusively to childhood and adolescent cancer research. Perentesis was also elected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Doctors in America List from 1998 to 2017.
In February, 2017, Perentesis joined Our Daily Bread’s Board of Directors. Perentesis was persuaded to join the board after hearing about Our Daily Bread from a good friend, co-worker, (and Our Daily Bread board member) Shawna Langworthy. “I was impressed by Our Daily Bread’s mission and goals, and I was inspired by the compassion, inclusiveness and the way Our Daily Bread takes care of those who really need it - those things are really powerful.”
While the connection might not be obvious, Perentesis sees a link between volunteering for a soup kitchen and curing cancer. "Fundamentally helping people is the common theme. Ultimately, you do your best to try to help. It is a privilege to help people through tough patches."
Perentesis also likes Our Daily Bread’s comprehensive services. "Our Daily Bread has a broader dimension-you see this with the social work and after-school programs, which both serve a critical function in our community. I believe in promulgating positive values about how we should be members of a greater Cincinnati. There is so much more to it than just feeding people, getting more people involved is a good thing and has a multiplier effect.”
Perentesis has volunteered to help serve food at our 2017 Fundraiser, “We Go Together” Bebop N’ Hop on September 23. "I like to roll up my sleeves rather than administer. I thought a great way to do this is to be a part of the event, connect and understand the culture, and learn how to contribute better. We need to make a stand about compassion and inclusiveness and helping folks get access to opportunities. Right now, is an extraordinary time we are living in and to get involved.”