Grace Hernandez brings sweet treats to the Cedar Valley Cancer Center in Waterloo every week.
"She comes in every Monday morning. She brings multiple things for goodies. Lots and lots of food," said Laurie Ruport with the Cedar Valley Cancer Center.
Hernandez visited the cancer center when three family members needed treatment: her mother, husband and son. She noticed many patients had to come to the center on an empty stomach, which is how she got the idea to bake treats.
"Family were trying to find things for them, and they had to leave and come back. So this way there was something here just to tide them over," said Grace Hernandez.
Hernandez previously made wedding cakes to supplement her income. She worked as a nurse at Allen Hospital in Waterloo for more than 40 years. Baking and wanting to continue working with patients is why she knew the cancer center would be a great fit for her to volunteer.
"It's wonderful for me," said Hernandez.
Grace Hernandez is at the cancer center from 8 to Noon each Monday with lots of treats she baked from scratch on Sunday.
"I'm baking between five and nine batches of goodies," she said.
The treats are available for anyone to take. Hernandez also passes the goodies out, along with coffee. She said her favorite part is getting a chance to talk with the patients and their family members.
"They like that. I've found they're frightened because they don't know what's going to happen," said Hernandez.
Hernandez said she's glad she can be a friendly face when people are going through a difficult time in their lives. Staffers say everyone appreciates her time and effort.
"She's loved. She is loved by all," said Laurie Ruport.
Hernandez has volunteered at the center for nearly four years, with no intentions of stopping.
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