“Cancer is like a long walk into uncertainty,” Carrie King, an Island Hospital patient, recently told us. Carrie knows this journey all too well. She had two aunts and a cousin pass away from cancer. Knowing cancer runs in her family, Carrie would schedule a routine mammogram every year for her birthday.

Then the unthinkable happened – a lump, followed by the words Carrie hoped she’d never hear: “You have breast cancer.”

Fear and uncertainty rushed in. Carrie knew the journey ahead would be long and difficult. Cancer would not only affect her body, but her emotional well-being, her family, and even her ability to work. As a working mother of two young boys, Carrie needed a medical facility close to home where a dedicated medical team was available to guide her at every step on her journey.

To beat cancer, Carrie needed compassionate and competent healthcare close to home.

Carrie chose to receive care at Island Hospital. “I felt the expertise at Island Hospital was on par with much larger hospitals. The big difference was my medical team cared about me, Carrie. I was not just a number.”

Carrie describes the treatment process as being like a part-time job. She had to take a tremendous amount of time off for various surgeries and procedures. “It was several scary months of unexpected trauma,” she recalls.

Eventually, she had to make the hard decision to have both breasts and lymph nodes removed. “The state-of-the-art mammogram machine and my surgeon literally saved my life.”

The loving care Carrie received went beyond her physical needs. Carrie was impressed by how her medical team cared for her husband and family as well. “It is remarkable to have people give you hugs and well wishes as they are changing shifts. If you’re going to go through the horror of cancer, I couldn’t pick a better place.”

The horror of cancer didn’t end with surgery. During her journey to recovery, Carrie became severely depressed. Concerned, she called Danah Peace-Laws, the social worker at Island Hospital’s Merle Cancer Care Center.

“Danah helped me realize that there is more to life than just surviving. We were meant to thrive. I realized that I was missing the thriving part of life.”

Danah told Carrie about a local cancer support group and reminded Carrie to prioritize taking care of herself. Because of your generosity, Carrie received a financial-assistance grant to help her achieve her self-care goals.

Your commitment to compassionate, local healthcare provided a means for Carrie to make a full recovery – physically and emotionally. She has now shifted her focus from cancer to the things she loves most: being a mother and wife. She has also returned to her regular work schedule.

“When you are afraid for your life, having confidence in your medical team is essential, but caring and kindness from your medical team, well, that is extraordinary. You can’t buy that kind of loving care.”