Annie Bolden: A General at Work, Survivor in Life
Annie Bolden is a kind, soft-spoken family matriarch who’s worked behind the scenes at Lowery A. Woodall Outpatient Surgery Center for more than a decade.
But don’t let her friendly, low-key disposition fool you; she’s not afraid to put people in their place. In fact, that’s her job, literally.
As unit secretary at LAW, Bolden is responsible for a wide range of administrative duties, including directing the nurses and physicians to their assigned cases and admitting patients. She also develops the nurses’ schedules and compiles all patient information ahead of the patient’s visit.
“And I answer the phone – constantly,” she says.
Over the years, Bolden has become an integral part of the support staff at LAW, serving as a sort of den mother. She is affectionately known among her coworkers as “The General.”
In addition to “The General,” Bolden holds many other titles that she’s very clearly proud of: mother of three, grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of four. One title that she’s fought hard to earn but that many of her coworkers may not know is survivor.
Bolden was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. She says what drove her to survive it was the fact that she had so many people depending on her. Aside from making sure her own children were taken care of, she had also taken on the responsibility of raising her sister’s children after her sister passed away.
While it was difficult, she said she fought through the chemo, “because I knew I had to beat this.” And she did beat it. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer again in 2007, she says, in a way, it was easier because she knew what to expect; and that time around, she had the support of her children, who were now adults.
She has since lived cancer-free and continues to tackle other health challenges her body throws at her, from diabetes to a total knee replacement – the latter of which she says was “worse than both cancers.”
What has she learned from these trying health experiences?
“Stay positive. Do everything that you need to do to keep yourself well. You have to think positive.”
She suggests people keep telling themselves the same thing she keeps telling herself: “This is so hard, but I’m going to do this. I have to push through.”
In the meantime, she keeps pushing through with the help of a work family that she loves. She says she never takes off unless absolutely needed because she loves what she does.
“There’s never a dull moment. This is not work; this is something I enjoy.”