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Janice (centre) with friends Glenn and Sandy

Janice (centre) with friends Glenn and Sandy

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Janice (centre) with friends Glenn and Sandy

Janice (centre) with friends Glenn and Sandy

Patient Story

A Special Gift for a Special Team

Appreciation Delivered

Earlier this month, the staff at the R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre (DRCC) were surprised with a sweet gesture from patient and new donor Janice Eichner.

In January, Janice was diagnosed with Stage 2B Cervical Cancer and after an intensive course of treatments she wanted to thank her teams for their hard work and compassionate care.

“It came completely out of left field,” Janice recalled of her diagnosis.

She was told that surgery was not an option, because the tumor was too close to other organs.

“Fortunately, I was otherwise healthy enough that they could plan a pretty aggressive combination of chemotherapy and radiation, which included brachytherapy at the end,” Janice explained.

Confidence could waver for anyone during this initial assessment and planning process. But Janice had faith in her care team, including her radiation oncologist Dr. Behzad Banihashemi and gynecologic oncologist Dr. Paulina Cybulska.

“They were so positive that they could deal with this,” she said. “They were confident they were not just going to treat me, but fix me. That shaped my own attitude toward it.”

The level of care and support the DRCC team provided to Janice is what made her begin to think of ways to show her appreciation.

“I must have dealt with a hundred staff members,” she explained. “Without exception they were kind, caring and respectful.”

“Nobody patronized me or patted my hand,” continued Janice. “It was just amazing care, and it bothered me that these dedicated professionals don't always get the recognition they deserve, particularly as they’re changing and saving lives every day.”

Working with the Foundation, Janice made a generous financial donation to purchase six new systemic therapy treatment chairs. These chairs will provide comfort for patients receiving chemotherapy and enhanced functionality for the staff.

But the icing on the cake was when Janice, with friends Sandy and Glenn, dropped by to deliver several trays of baked goods from Dooher’s Bakery in Campbellford to systemic therapy and radiation staff.

“They deserved a proper treat,” said Janice. “And it had to be something that was a targeted gift to the staff.”
The DRCC staff who mapped out Janice’s care plan are not only helping her get back to living her everyday life, but are allowing her to take a very meaningful trip.

“My husband Karl died in 2022 and I’ve spent most of the last year organizing a final celebration of life for him in his hometown in Northern Ireland,” she said. “That's happening the last week of June, and I've been given two thumbs up to be there.”

It’s a trip Janice feared she wouldn’t be able to take when she first received her diagnosis.

"I still can't believe that I got this dire news in January, and I’m now home and making plans for the future,” she affirmed.

As she sets her sights on her upcoming trip to Europe, we would like to thank Janice for her generous support of cancer care in Durham Region, and for brightening the day of our dedicated teammates in the Systemic Therapy and Radiation Therapy departments.