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Examiner
  • Survivor stories: Changed forever by mother's cancer

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  • I’ve always been a big supporter of Breast Cancer Research and treatment activities…
    My mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 1995 and survived breast cancer through a very difficult time in the '90s. She was denied treatment because the stem cell transplant her doctor wanted to perform was labeled “experimental.” She eventually received the transplant after a lot of effort from her medical team and a letter writing campaign to the insurance company. That moment changed my career path and is the reason I work in the field I do today. I switched my major and dedicated myself to understanding the health care system and industry and to contribute in any way I can (preferably in a non-clinical setting because I’m a little scared of blood) to the care and improvement of human life through this complex healthcare system we’re a part of.
    Unfortunately, my mother was diagnosed with acute leukemia in 2004 and died in February of 2005. I believe there is evidence to suggest that the leukemia is a known complication of the lifesaving treatments she received… but I assure you, my family and everyone who loved my mom was grateful for the extra 10 years we got with her, which I believe was a direct result of advances in the treatment of breast cancer. I think about her every day and often wish she could be physically present in my life. My children and I celebrate her on Mother’s Day even though they never got a chance to meet her and they often talk about Grandma Patty watching over them as their guardian angel.
    I’m really proud of what we do for this community because I know there are families like mine that are touched every day by the care of our amazing staff and our amazing doctors.
    – Submitted by Phill Buttell, chief operating officer
    Centerpoint Medical Center
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