TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)-A greeter at the Topeka VA is giving out medicine to all the patients he meets, it doesn’t cost a dime, and the only side effect is happiness.
“Good morning, how are you?” If you spend even an hour with Rodney Knickerson while he’s working, you’ll hear a lot of friendly hello’s. Making patients walking into the Topeka VA happy is Knickeson’s passion, and what he’s been doing for the past 6 years.
But he goes above and beyond just saying hello. Many patients he knows by name, and will meet them at their car, and help them get out.
“I try to make it personal with them,” Knickerson said. “Not too personal, but personal enough where they feel comfortable with me bringing them inside and keeping them smiling.”
Each patient Knickerson makes smile is a veteran just like him. He served in the Marine Corp, and even though that was years ago, he’s never stopped taking care of his fellow soldiers.
Knickerson’s become so popular and well known at the VA, that people count on him being there. Even while filming this interview a patients wife approached Knickerson and told him, that she didn’t know what they would do without him.
It’s those moments with the people he meets that make the job so rewarding, and yet at times, heartbreaking, “Some of
the patients come here for chemotherapy, and you could see them today and not see them tomorrow,” Knickerson said.
That’s why Knickerson shows up everyday with a huge smile, and his spunky attitude prescribing his own special medicine, “A dose of happiness,” Knickerson said.
It’s just what the doctor ordered.