A patient's unique path to helping St. Joe's
Helen with her children Jessie and Will and husband John
Sometimes the obstacles life brings can actually lead you onto a better path. I know this from personal experience. As a communications officer at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, I feel blessed to hear and share inspiring stories from patients and donors whose lives were changed by the exceptional care provided by our Hospital.
St. Joe’s has touched the lives of so many people in our region, including my own…so today, I’m sharing my story.
Six years ago, I found a lump on my throat that was diagnosed as thyroid cancer. My husband and children were devastated by the news, knowing the possible worst-case scenario of the dreaded “C-word” through the loss of a much loved brother and uncle just a few years earlier.
Thankfully, it turned out that the cancer was in an early stage so my treatment was relatively straightforward. After two surgeries and a radiation treatment, my surgeon predicted a long and healthy future. The prognosis for people diagnosed with thyroid cancer is generally positive however if it does recur, it can take a really long time to do so. Because of this possibility, I will likely need to check in with my care team on a regular basis for the rest of my life.
This is where St. Joe’s came into the picture. My cancer surgery and treatment was at a different hospital but my ongoing monitoring is conducted at St. Joe’s Charlton Campus under the watchful, expert, and compassionate eye of Dr. Meera Luthra, my endocrinologist. Dr. Luthra has truly been a miracle worker for me. She always takes the time to listen to my concerns. She explains how the medications and assessments we’re incorporating now will help me to live a long, healthy and enjoyable life.
As I tour through various departments at St. Joe’s for my check-ups, I meet such great people who make my appointments so much easier by being cheerful, professional and understanding. And it’s not just the people, it’s the feeling I get inside St. Joe’s. The Fontbonne Building’s Outpatient Department has touching pictures of people and pets that always make me smile, and the Diagnostic Imaging Department’s modern, clean, and calm atmosphere always puts me at ease at a time when my nerves tend to get the better of me.
In recognition of the Hospital and the people who are making a difference in my life, I recently made a donation to say thanks to my St. Joe’s Miracle Workers through the Foundation’s Grateful Patient Program. I hope that my gift and my story help my St. Joe’s Miracle Workers to understand how truly grateful I am for their care.
Cancer can be such a devastating illness. I am profoundly relieved that my experience turned out so well and also gave me a new view on life. I worry less about trivial things now and place more value on the time I have with family and friends. Life can change quickly and when things really matter, ‘someday’ needs to be ‘now’ so I decided to change my career path and pursue my dream of being a writer.
I wanted my writing career to help a community-focussed organization fulfill their good work and after finishing a university diploma in public relations, as fate would have it, that path brought me here to St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation. I am very proud to be here, helping to raise funds to take care of other patients, and always remembering that my ability to do this comes from my own care team keeping my future bright.