“Because of the relationship between Emory and Grady, my grandfather did many rotations here in the 1940s. He described Grady as ‘a hospital for all people’ and a ‘special place that’s unlike any other,’” Cantor recalled.
Karp’s high regard for Grady is what led his granddaughter here after he passed away in March 2016.
“I always kept Grady in my mind. That summer I applied to be a teen volunteer, and that’s how I found out everything he said about Grady was true,” Cantor said.
Cantor volunteered with Senior Services and returned in May 2017 as an adult volunteer in the Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) Unit and Geriatric Clinic.
“I asked to have the opportunity to work in these areas because of my experience taking care of my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s disease and my grandfather (Karp) who developed dementia. I accompanied them on several doctor visits, and witnessed the kindness and support given as they aged.”
Cantor said her role at Grady is also a tribute to her grandfather’s legacy, because in 1983 he was the inaugural medical director at the Wesley Woods Center, the nation’s first geriatric hospital.
“Every room I walk into is a chance to make someone’s day. I may not always achieve that, but I try to make those patients feel seen, heard, and loved.”
Her compassion for the elderly has not gone unnoticed.
“It’s extremely rare to meet teens who have genuine love for servicing older adults. Isabella just lights up when she visits our patients and the patients light up when they see her,” said Queenie Jordan, Senior Services manager.
As Cantor heads into her sophomore year at Emory, she is optimistic that her class schedule will allow her to continue to volunteer.
“I’m hoping some afternoons I can just hop on a bus to get to Grady and see my friends on ACE. As a member of the community, I’m invested in the success of Grady — a hospital that is unlike any other.”