December 21, 2009

There’s no stopping this sister!

By Kelley Luckstein

She's walked an average of 12 miles a day, everyday since the 1980's. Even at 98 years old, she shows no signs of slowing down. Sister Vera Klinkhammer started working at the Mayo clinic after the Great Depression. Today, while a lot has changed, one thing hasn't, and that is her commitment to helping others.

At 98-years-old, Sister Vera Klinkhammer volunteers at Saint Marys Hospital, visiting patients and their families before surgery.

After working as a nurse in neurosurgery for 50 years, Sister Vera started volunteering all over the Mayo Clinic campus, sometimes walking up to twelve miles a day!

There's only one thing that keeps her going. Sister Vera says, "because I love it. I wanna help people. I'm here to help people."

That desire to help started at Mayo with the Order of the Sisters of St. Francis, nearly a hundred years ago. Back then, more than one hundred and twenty sisters walked these halls. Today, only about twenty remain.

The chapel hasn't changed since it was built in the 1930's. For peace of mind, Sister Vera still comes to the chapel everyday to pray for the health of the hospital's patients. Giving them hope and reminding them they're not alone.

KTTC, by Lauren Hardie, 12/17/09

Tags: Mayo Clinic Rochester, Sister Vera

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