Pay It Forward: The man who provides a smile, reassurance to cancer patients

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ST. LOUIS (KTVI) - A St. Louis woman who takes a loved one for cancer treatment every day says the experience can be worrisome, uncertain, and stressful. But the person who welcomes them at the radiation oncology department at Siteman Cancer Center makes the visit a positive experience – a man described as a beacon of light that breaks the darkness for patients arriving for cancer treatments.

Emem Ituen, who brings her relative to Siteman for treatment of lymphoma, contacted Fox 2 to nominate Lamont Reed as a Pay It Forward recipient.

Reed is a patient advocate at Siteman Cancer Center. He’s the first person to greet cancer patients and their families when they arrive at the radiation oncology department.

"You are truly a breath of fresh air, you are a blessing for anyone who comes across your path, and you are just a godsend," Ituen said, presenting Reed with a $500 Mastercard gift card.

Reed talks with patients, makes sure they aren't waiting too long for appointments, and he laughs and cries with them.

"We're just inspiring them that, ‘Hey, you know this is small bump in the road with cancer and we can beat it,’ so that's why I'm here, just being there for them," Reed said.

Lamont's fellow coworkers applaud him as man who Pays It Forward every day.

"It’s just rare to find people with such a kindred spirit in this day and age and his consistency goes far beyond anything that I've ever experienced, so I wanted his superiors to know and I wanted the world to know that there are still some good people on this Earth," Ituen said.

For Reed, the people he cares for are not patients. He calls them friends, going so far as to keep in contact with them outside the hospital.

“I mean, we have so many things that's going on right now, I just want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem," Reed said.

Pay It Forward is brought to you by First Bank. If you would like to nominate a deserving person for the award, visit the Pay It Forward page on