BOISE — Rhonda Gibson is known as "the cookie lady" at St. Luke's Mountain States Tumor Institute. Once a week, she brings cookies - and smiles - to the patients undergoing chemotherapy.
It's a sweet way to brighten a tough day. For Rhonda, it's an honor.
"I get more blessing out of doing this than the patients here," she said. "It's just a wonderful thing to be able to do. It makes me feel good to see them smile."
You see, Rhonda beat breast cancer here at St. Luke's 20 years ago. She knows what it's like to be in the fight of your life.
"I'm going to get emotional, but I know what it's like to sit there and wonder," she said. "What's the doctor going to tell you and is this going to make you sick? And having all those worrisome thoughts - and just to have your mind taken away from that for a little while."
Her husband Mike says her treatment saved her life, and changed them both.
"When she was having her cancer treatments 20 years ago, the volunteers absolutely touched our lives," he said. "MSTI is such an incredible facility."
Years ago, Rhonda decided she had to give back. So she started delivering her cookies to the patients and staff.
"It was 11 years last February that I've been doing this and I do it every Tuesday I'm in town," she explained. "If I'm able, I'm here."
The generous act each week is appreciated not only by the patients, but staff members at MSTI as well.
"She's so kind in her heart and her being to come and share with us, not only patients but also our staff," nursing manager Kelli Reed said. "To bring us that moment of happiness that a cookie will bring."
Rhonda says it's the best part of her week, and she'll keep coming back.
"Until I croak or they kick me out," she laughed. "I have no reason to stop, it does me so much good, and I really enjoy it."