When I was 17, my high school classmates of ’71 in Trumbull, were preparing for graduation, dancing at proms, learning how to put on makeup, and I was up on Hunter 5 (Yale’s Oncology floor), dancing with IV poles, having non air conditioned nuclear medicine scans, and learning how to fix my wig so it would not fall off. Yes, I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, just after my 16th birthday, and got spun into a world I did not know and that I would not change a bit, thanks to the Yale New Haven Medical Center. The Cancer Center had not even opened yet, but Yale was trying and on the forefront of the cancer trials. I was lucky to be part of those trials. I just found out about the Survivorship Clinic about 5 months ago. Until then – for the last 37 years – I thought that I have been out here all alone, speaking with the American Cancer Society, working as a Mammographer, specializing in breast cancer (I am also a Yale graduate in Radiography), not knowing that the HEROS survivorship clinic had been growing. More so because I moved to American’s Finest City, San Diego, CA, when given permission, by my then GYN/oncologist, Dr. Ernest Kohorn (retired) and Dr. Joseph Bertino, transferring my health care to UCSD.
I’m volunteering to help the Connecticut Challenge because, not only is it always time to give back, but time to give back to YALE for saving my life, giving me a chance to live life, and live it to the fullest extent as a survivor, a “club” to which I feel a great privilege and honor to belong! I think the Connecticut Challenge is a great place for me to start!