The Cancer Center’s Story Project is an effort to capture stories from our community of patients, friends, family, clinicians, and staff who have been affected by cancer in some way. This is Mac's Story.
- Mac Moore has been at Mass General for nearly 30 years. In his different roles, Mac has managed to make a connection with countless patients here at the Cancer Center. You can find Mac on Yawkey 8, greeting patients and staff with a smile.
- "If I see someone who isn’t smiling, I try and find the problem. Is she sad? I want to help."
You’ve been at the Cancer Center for a long time now, haven’t you?
"I started over 25 years ago, and I started working as a security officer. Then, they came up with the ambassador program. I was the first guy that entered into the ambassador program."
You were the first? Wow!
"Yeah. I was lucky to work at the Cox building, and I was one of the first people recognized at the first 'the one hundred' event. It was very emotional, they had me on a big screen."
"I put my all into it. I always ask patients, ‘How are you doing? Are you having a nice day?’ One day I was walking there and this lady came over and said, ‘Can you please hug me?’ They are so strong with what they are going through, but no matter how strong they are or how done they are, when they enter the Cox building they always smile. I remember this man, he was in the service. He came in one day and said, ‘Mac, you know what? If this was when I was in the service and you were there, every day I’d give you a star. Your shirt is so white.’"
"I believe in God, and seeing what the patients go through hurts sometimes. And I can let you know this, no matter as a kid or an adult, no matter who you are, no matter what you have, I don’t back off, I move forward. Because that’s my job. It’s nice to see somebody there to pick you up, no matter what you do. If I see someone who isn’t smiling, I try and find the problem. Is she mad? I want to help. But everybody has a different style. I think God put me here for a reason. And the reason God put me here is to take care of patients. And I always try to do my best about it.
See, a great ambassador is one who makes people smile. This was written in a book that I usually read that said 'a great ambassador is one who makes people smile.' Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Don’t let anybody stop you from speaking the truth. If you’re speaking the truth, stick to it.’ And I walk into it with each patient as a true person. That’s why Jeff Davis, my boss, said to me ‘Mac, no, you’re not retiring. You’re one of the faces of the hospital. And I love that, because people care about you. What you put out, that’s what you’re gonna get back.’ I would travel for these patients to the end of the world. And make them high, make them smile, make them happy. It’s good to hear when someone passes by and says, 'He’s such a nice guy.' This is what you want to hear within this circle. I’m there for everybody. Anybody, whether their health is strong, weak, poor, rich, what culture they come from...culture doesn’t mean nothing to me. No matter what color you are, I am coming forward to you, because that’s what I was put here to do. That’s the way I look at it."
"It’s a pleasure working here because I achieve a lot of things walking away because of my attitude. I don’t get upset, I respect people, so this is my way, and it will never change. It’s nice working here. I appreciate that Jeff (Davis) kept me here to do my job."
I’ve seen it, everyone who comes off of the elevators comes to see you.
"I’m telling you! When I was on vacation, people were saying, ‘We haven’t seen Mac! Where’s Mac?’ The most important thing about me is my patients. No matter how young they are, how old they are…."
"I was working and a woman came in and when she was leaving she said, ‘Mac, you’re a wonderful guy. I’ve got a little something for you.’ I asked what it was and she said she wouldn’t tell me. So I was there walking in Cox one day and I saw a guy come with a huge camera asking, ‘Who is Mac?’ Joking, I said ‘Why are you here? Did I do something wrong?’ He said, ‘No, I came to take some pictures.’ About a month later, I was in the Globe. It was nice. A patient came in saying, ‘Mac! I saw your picture in the Globe! I’m going to frame it for you. I’m going to frame this and bring this for you.’ It was nice. Very, very nice. People love you for the things you do that is right."
"You’ve got to run your own life. But you need support sometimes around your life. See, like these cancer patients coming in here? They need support. Some of them are lonely. They live by themselves. There’s nobody but the guys who pick them up for the ride. They say, ‘Where’s Mac?’ I’m here. This is what they need in life. Somebody to support them when they’re going through this tough, tough road. It’s a rough road. With cancer, transportation can be rough. Climbing the stairs can be rough. Getting out of the elevator could be rough. You need somebody to stand by you. You need that, you know? Because what’s the need for living if you can’t do a favor for somebody, if you can’t help somebody? When you close that door and you leave and come in here, you know what they’re saying in their mind? ‘I know Mac’s going to be there.’"
"Each patient, I love them. I’ll go backwards, forwards, any direction you want me to go in for these patients. They’ve got all the support they need from me."
Is there anything else you would like to say?
"I would like to say that I like the people I work with, I like working for the patients with cancer, I like the rewards that I get working around patients."
"God bless the cancer patients, God bless them all. I enjoy working for them. I feel for them. I cry with them, laugh with them, hug them, I don’t care. I catch a cold, I don’t care. I’ve been through some crazy stuff here with patients. I love every one of them."
If I see someone who isn’t smiling, I try and find the problem. Is she sad? I want to help.
This interview was conducted in February 2018 and has been edited for clarity.