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Raised to Goal of $700.00
DocMikeRocs: Leaving Cancer in the Dust
9.24.23 UPDATE: Our team is SO close to raising $10,000 for the Cancer Center. We only need another $1,665. Thank you for donating what you are able!!
Like many cancer diagnoses, it begins with the phone call you're not expecting. Ours came on December 30, 2022 -- it was a beautiful sunny day -- nearly 60 degrees!! Mike went for routine blood work that turned out not to be too routine. We were fortunate to be directly admitted to the Wilmot Cancer Center that night, and thus began our journey to a cure for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Mike’s first stay at WCC was 30 straight days in January, followed by a five-day stint in February, and then 13 days in April for a stem cell transplant. All told, we spent New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day, and even Easter Sunday at WCC. But thankfully, not St. Patrick’s Day! As I write this, Mike is 155 days into his diagnosis, and 50 days post transplant (but who’s counting). It's amazing to see him recover and rediscover living a new normal life!
But make no mistake, during those early days -- scary days to be sure -- the one thing that provided so much comfort was to know that Wilmot Cancer Center was a nationally respected cancer center, with nationally known experts in blood cancers and transplants. I know this not because I work at URMC, but because I did the research, both with friends at the Medical Center, and friends around the country -- notably a leukemia expert based in the world-renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle. He said to me, "the most important thing in successfully treating this leukemia is to be in a good place, with good docs. You've got both right there in Rochester."
Not only did we have good docs, we had great, dedicated docs -- our main attending physcian, Dr. Jane Liesveld, was there early in the morning, late at night and was available for consultations whenever we had questions. Dr. Paul Barr, the doc who came in on New Years Eve to tell us "you have cancer" was so incredibly kind and empathetic. And Dr. Jason Mendler was beloved for being the doctor who advocated for a discharge after 30 days of being in the hospital.
As good as the docs were, dare we say the nurses on WCC6 were even better. We had the Best. Nurses. Possible. Be kind to nurses everywhere -- they work really hard. And fabulous assistants. It was an unbelievable experience. And when Mike moved to the outpatient setting, just ask Mike about the snack cart that comes around as he is receiving a transfusion:)!
We tell you all this to to underscore how damn lucky we are in Rochester to have the Wilmot Cancer Institute (WCI). To be just 10- or 20-minutes away from receiving care from an Institute with top docs, top researchers, state-of-the art facilities, a transplant team -- the list goes on and on -- is unbelievable. Until you're in it, it's hard to understand just how fortunate we are.
While I hope you never have to experience WCC firsthand, I do hope you'll join Mike and I to help WCC create new life saving treatments and cures for cancer patients in New York and around the world. You can do this either by joining the AWESOME DocMikeRocs team, or consider a donation to the team. The dates are September 29 – October 1st, 2023, and you can participate by biking, running or walking. All fundraising will advance world class cancer research and survivorship programs at the Wilmot Cancer Institute and the University of Rochester.
Thanks for considering becoming a Wilmot Warrior!
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