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Oregon nurse with 40+ years of service celebrated in retirement

Nurse friends and family had a parade to honor Carla Lee, who is retiring in January 2021.

PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon nurse of more than 40 years is getting a special sendoff for her retirement.

Nurse friends and family had a parade for Carla Lee, a registered nurse who worked at Legacy Emanuel and Good Samaritan Medical Center.

Her supervisor, Mika Sunago, organized the parade, with a group meeting in NE Portland Saturday morning to drive past Lee's house.

Lee started her nursing career in 1976. She began work at Legacy in 1981 in the oncology unit.

She said she was one of the original oncology RNs with the Stem Cell Transplant Program.

"Legacy has been my home last 40 years," Lee said in a news release. "This job has allowed me the opportunity to provide love and compassion and comfort to those I cared for."

She said caring for patients who are fighting for their lives comes with challenges, but ultimately gave her purpose and perspective.

"The one thing I will remember no matter how I felt is they are there because they must be," Lee said. "I have a choice. And giving to others has been what I chose to do with my life."

Lee also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work alongside a compassionate team for so many years.

"It's been a nice run, but people ask me are you sorry to go? I hate to tell you but no, I'm not sorry to go," Lee told KGW at er parade send off. "I used to say to the girls, 'Does anyone have any more questions before I go to Carla time?' and now I'm on Carla time all the time."

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