Organizers of the Blue Hope Bash Denver have found their SuperNurse. After a statewide search leading up to the Bash, which raised $173,000 for life-saving programs on March 8, organizers bestowed oncology nurse Cheri Rice with the title.
Caregiver Kristin Tabeling nominated Rice for the award after losing her husband Chris to colorectal cancer in March 2018. Rice was Chris’ nurse at Kaiser Permanente’s Lone Tree Medical Offices.
“Chris was so well loved, and his attitude was so positive,” Rice said.” He was also a very good role model. He did a lot of research on the disease and was very positive about treatments.”
In her nomination of Rice, Tabeling wrote:
“Cheri made us feel safe from the very first meeting … Cheri held my hand and lent me her shoulder to cry on more times that I can count. Cheri was part of our world of cancer, but she also became our friend … Living with and through cancer was brutal, but having the true love of our Superhero Nurse, Cheri, made it a little bit easier.”
Rice, who has worked in oncology nursing for 35 years, said she first wanted to practice labor and delivery, but an opening in oncology at Saint Joseph Hospital led her a different way.
“I’m just so grateful because this was my calling, and I can’t imagine doing anything different,” Rice said. “You can see how thankful people are for what you do for them. I let patients into my life, and they let you into theirs.”
When she’s not guiding patients through treatment, Rice enjoys reading mystery novels and running, taking part in the BOLDERBoulder 10K each Memorial Day. She also enjoys picking up books about oncology.
“I like to read books about what people feel when they’re going through it, so I can get insight into their lives and be a better nurse,” Rice said.
Arguably Rice’s most important job, however, is due to arrive soon. Rice is expecting a grandchild. We’re sure she’ll be an excellent newborn nurse, too.