Kathie Faine always planned to volunteer when she retired. Giving back is important to her, and she looked forward to room in her schedule for service to others. By 2013, it was nearly time. She’d raised her family with her husband, Tony, had a fruitful career at Alliant Energy and been cancer-free for 23 years. Then came a new diagnosis and with it a change of plans.
The biopsy showed stage four metastatic cancer, which had moved to her bones, liver, lungs and tissue. Kathie scheduled an appointment with Dr. Ghosh, whom she knew from her first round of cancer treatment. She placed her trust in him and his team and focused on new ways to live and give back.
Although her cancer is incurable, her life has been fuller and longer than she imagined. It’s been five years this month since Kathie came to The Ghosh Center. During that time, she’s been through a variety of therapies.
“When one doesn’t work or causes serious complications, Dr. Ghosh finds a new option,” says Kathie. “In the fall of 2018, I was placed on hormone therapy for six months because I wasn’t a candidate for more chemotherapy. When the hormone therapy ended, a scan showed a number of lesions on my liver and spots on my neck and lungs. From there, Dr. Ghosh switched me to a low-dose chemotherapy. My recent scan showed no lesions – the spots on my liver, neck and lungs are gone. Dr. Ghosh has such deep knowledge about cancer and a willingness to customize treatment to my needs.”
Despite the setbacks she’s encountered, Kathie hasn’t abandoned her dream of volunteering. She’s taken it in a new direction. She’s made it her mission to raise money for the Anna Purna Ghosh Foundation, which helps cancer and blood disease patients in need. She and Tony have created fliers and stuffed dozens of envelopes to fundraise for this important cause. Her cover note states: “My wish, when my time comes, is to raise money for the APG Foundation. I told Dr. Ghosh that I hope at my memorial service there is not one flower, etc., and all donations have gone to the Foundation or to a charity of their choice.”
Kathie understands the importance of patients being able to focus on taking care of themselves without the burden of financial stress and its negative effect on the healing process. She appreciates the fact that all money donated to the APG Foundation stays in the local area to help cover the cost of prescriptions, prostheses and treatment-related supplies.
Her big dream has led to big results. Since Kathie embarked on her fundraising mission, she’s raised nearly $7,500 for the APG Foundation, and checks are still coming in.
Since Kathie embarked on her fundraising mission, she’s raised nearly $7,500 for the APG Foundation.
Kathie is grateful for the gift of life and for her support network of family, friends and coworkers. They’re equally grateful for the care she receives. One of her friends, Julie McCloud, showed her appreciation in a big way by creating a beautiful quilt for Dr. Ghosh and the team.
The quilt, featuring a pink ribbon and the words “Until There’s a Cure,” hangs in the waiting room. Julie, a former co-worker of Kathie’s who now owns a quilt shop in Texas, designed the quilt with her co-workers. Her shop, which also offers online purchasing, is aptly named Quilt Among Friends. If you’re in the waiting room, you’re encouraged to sign the quilt, choosing from a variety of colored pens that represent different types of cancer.
Giving back is Kathie’s gift to our community. If you’d like to join her mission, contact the APG Foundation online or call 319-573-6136.