When family, friends and colleagues recall Marilyn Dascal, one of their sharpest memories is the genuine delight she felt in helping numerous medical students and residents during her 30 years in the JGH Department of Professional Services.
“She was always smiling and happy, and she always looked on the bright side and took great pride in her work,” Samantha Dascal says of her mother, an Administrative Technician, who died of cancer this past February.
“Life wasn’t always easy. She became a single mother to two children, aged 4 and 8, and she took on the role of both mom and dad. But she never complained, even when she became sick and had to stop working in 2013. She smiled until her dying day.”
Samantha, an Administrative Assistant at the Goldman Herzl Family Practice Centre, says her mother always looked forward to July 1, when a new group of residents arrived at the JGH. Her goal was to make them feel at home, and she knew each one by name. She took care of them by registering them, preparing their timesheets, making their identification badges, and ensuring that their insurance and personal calendars were up to date.
“After they graduated, many of them would come back to visit her and thank her,” Samantha says proudly.
That warm, personal approach came naturally to Marilyn, says Maria Fetta, an Administrative Technician who worked alongside her for more than 25 years. “She was passionate about what she did, and she sincerely cared about the people in the hospital who relied on her and turned to her for help. She was such a classy lady.”
Dedication to the hospital ran in the family, adds Samantha who, for many years, used to have lunch at the JGH every Wednesday with her grandmother, Rose Trottenberg (a volunteer in Admitting), and her aunt, Shirley Israel (a Radiology volunteer).
“To my mother, the JGH was more than somewhere to work,” says Samantha. “It was a place where she knew she really made a difference in people’s lives.”