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Dorris Gerard and family

Survivors Standing Strong

At the Blesie Tree Walk last month, we caught up with Dorris Gerard and her daughter, Jan Appleton, standing at the top left in the picture here. They come from a family of strong women, many of whom have faced cancer. They talked with us about their experience with The Ghosh Center.

Dorris, can you share some of the health challenges you and your daughters have overcome?

I was diagnosed with breast cancer eight years ago. Four of my five daughters have had cancer

Dorris Gerard with daughters Carole and Jan

Dorris Gerard with daughters Carole and Jan

– for three of them, it was also breast cancer.

Looking back at my diagnosis, it had been many years since I’d had a mammogram. After several of my daughters learned they had breast cancer, I decided to get checked. Because of the mammogram, my breast cancer was caught early, and I had a double mastectomy.

After my surgery, I was referred to Dr. Ghosh. He put me on tamoxifen for several years, but I didn’t need chemo or radiation. Now I’m off tamoxifen and go to The Ghosh Center once a year for follow up.

Tell us about the team at The Ghosh Center.

I tell people that Dr. Ghosh is the number one doctor to go to for cancer. And Mindy takes good care of me. She and I talk about all kinds of things, from kids to recipes. I love her.

Dr. Ghosh is the number one doctor to go to for cancer.

Jan agrees. “Everyone at The Ghosh Center does so much. They’re always there for patients and their families – like this walk today and the annual picnic. When people ask about my mom’s doctor, they say, ‘Oh, Dr. Ghosh. He’s the best.’

Dorris, did you ever benefit from the financial assistance available through the Center?

My cancer meds were expensive. At the end of the first year, the bills were getting high. Jan reminded me that the Ghosh team had said, “If you run into problems, let us know.” She encouraged me to make the phone call. She told me if nothing comes of it, so be it, but it’s worth asking.

As it turned out, they were able to help me with the cost of my prescriptions. The financial support made a big difference to me.

Jan, what’s the secret of your mom’s strength?

My mom is the kind of person who likes to get out there and do things. She’s very involved in her church. And she’s very talented – knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting and, of course, cooking for a crowd. My mom loves being able to share her gifts with people.

Good advice from two strong women – for life and for cancer survivors everywhere.

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