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Patient Story

Amy’s Story

“The staff cared for me like I was part of their family.”

On the day I found a lump in my breast, my son Owen was eight years old. My little girl Meghan was only four. At first I thought it was a cyst. Even as it grew, the blood tests and ultrasound implied it wasn’t serious.

But as my lump got bigger and more painful, my husband urged me to find out what was wrong.  So I went for another ultrasound.  The radiologist took one look and said, “you need a biopsy.” That was a Friday at 2:30 in the afternoon.  It’s funny how that moment sticks in my mind. The following Monday morning, I learned … I had cancer. I managed not to cry then.  But my husband did.

That morning marked the beginning of a long and difficult struggle for me and my family.  It’s a battle that I won only because of the amazing people at Lakeridge Health, and the donors who support them. 

One thing I have learned – you only realize how important your local hospital is when the day comes that you or someone you love is really, really sick. 

I don’t know what I would have done if I had to travel into downtown Toronto to have my cancer treatment.  That journey is exhausting for a patient, and it’s exhausting for their family members too. So to have this cancer centre here in our own backyard — where we can be cared for from diagnosis through remission — is incredible.

You know, everybody I met throughout my time at Lakeridge Health was truly amazing. The Heather Griffith Breast Assessment Centre staff who knew my world was about to change. Dr. Julia Jones, who performed my mastectomies. My plastic surgeon, who came back to the hospital at 6AM the day after an eight-hour surgery to check up on me.  The chemo nurses, who kept such a close watch on me. And all the many thoughtful volunteers. They all cared for me like I was one of their own family. 

If by sharing my story, I can encourage just one more person to check themselves and make sure they are okay — or see their doctor if they’re not feeling okay — then what I went through is worth it.  

Thank you for supporting our Hospitals and patients just like me.