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Subaru Stories: How Her Forester Helps This Nurse (and Patients) Reconnect with Nature

Photo credit: John Carlano

Subaru owners are fanatically loyal adventurers–signaling each other with a peace sign salute as they pass and referring to their cars as ‘Subies.’ Subaru Stories follows the journey behind 10 Philadelphian health professionals connected by a common thread: Their car. Where it takes them after work? That seems to be very different…

Gardening is an escape for Barb Daulerio. She plants herbs and vegetables like zucchini and tomatoes to use when cooking for her family who loves to eat. It helps her reconnect with nature, focus on creating something beautiful and stop thinking about a million things.

“Sometimes I don’t even want to wear gloves,” Daulerio says. “I just love the feeling of digging my hands in the dirt. It’s therapeutic.”

As an oncology nurse navigator at Bryn Mawr Hospital, Daulerio encourages her patients to use nature as a healing tool. While helping patients that are newly diagnosed with cancer, she recommends gardening when possible, holistic medicinal options and a visit to the Healing Garden at Main Line Health Center. The quiet oasis offers rocking chairs, koi ponds, and flowers, all accessible for chemotherapy patients.

“It’s important that they get outside and find comfort in a place that makes them happy,” Daulerio says. “I know what it’s like to be on the other side of the fence and the wisdom I gained from my experiences guides me in my advocacy for patients.”

Daulerio’s care and compassion for her patients comes easy. As a mother of three, she knows the emotional rollercoaster they’re experiencing during treatment, especially the concern they have for their loved ones. Three years ago, Daulerio was in a serious car accident while driving her youngest son to school. Her car was totaled; it had been rear-ended and sent into oncoming traffic, narrowly avoiding hitting a bus.

“We were lucky,” says Daulerio. “That was one of those eye-opening experiences where I realized that I never wanted to have that fear again. Safety was my top priority for my new car and I spent a lot of time looking around and researching my options.”

That’s why Daulerio made the trek from Roxborough to Cherry Hill for her 2010 Subaru Forester. It’s the perfect vehicle for getting to work and taking to Brigantine on summer vacation.

After three years with her trusty Forester, Daulerio jokes that she has totally bought into the Subaru lifestyle, complete with her “Peace, Love and Nursing” bumper sticker.

“My daughter says I’m a hipster,” Daulerio says, laughing, as she places a fedora on her head. “But it’s not just about being trendy or anything. This really is the best car for me. And I need this hat – I’m an oncology nurse, I have to wear a hat in the sun!”

She loves using the all-wheel drive, cranking the stereo system to sing along to her favorite music and opening the sunroof to soak up the warm weather days. But nothing compares to the security she feels while driving.

“It’s resilient,” Daulerio says. “I feel its sturdiness, reliability, and support. Life has so many uncharted turns. As a nurse, I don’t get to take a day off when the weather is bad or something comes up. My patients count on me and I need to count on my car.”

Subaru supports and thanks the entire medical community in the Greater Philadelphia area. For more information about finding the right ride for you, click here.