Your support will help build a new infusion center.
Erin Coonan Schmidt had all the hopes and dreams of most young brides. But days after the 27-year-old's wedding, the promising path before her quickly turned uncertain. A lump she discovered on her chest shortly before her wedding concerned her doctor enough to recommend surgery and a biopsy. Soon came the revelation that Erin had Stage II A breast cancer.
"The floor fell out from beneath me. I wanted the doctor to take back what she had told me," the Middletown resident recalls. "I just got married, my new life was supposed to be starting…."Erin underwent a second surgery at Women & Infants Hospital, then for months she went to the hospital's Infusion Center for chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
Today, Erin is cancer free. She credits the team at Women & Infants' Program in Women's Oncology for not only eradicating a deadly disease from her body, but protecting the spirit inside it. That is the mission of Women & Infants' Program in Women's Oncology, which not only provides world-class oncology treatment but pairs it with specialized support services to reduce pain and anxiety created by cancer as well as improve quality of life for patients and their families. Partnering with donors like you, the Campaign for the Program in Women's Oncology is raising funds for a much-needed new Infusion Center and Integrative Care Suite at the Bernard and Ina Wasserman Family Building.
The new Infusion Center will be a modern, technologically advanced center that is twice the size of the hospital's current location. Erin can attest to the need for a new facility. "During my chemo treatment there was not always enough room for my husband or my mother to sit comfortably with me. So a new, bigger Infusion Center will make a real difference for patients," she explains.
The renovation project will also include additions like more private treatment rooms, a lounge and kitchenette-style area for patients and families, and significantly improved staff workspace. Also, the creation of an Integrative Care Suite –adjacent to the Infusion Center on the first floor – will centralize critical services proven to improve cancer care. Such services will include lymphedema therapy, massage, yoga and reiki.
They have been shown to reduce pain and anxiety, and improve quality of life. Erin says the integrative care services she received, including lymphedema therapy, massage therapy, acupuncture and consultations from a dietician, were critical in helping her as well as her husband, Bill, during an extremely difficult time. "I've talked to other young women who do not have these resources available to them," Erin explains. "To the supporters of Women & Infants, you need to know that your generosity is impacting women's lives every day. Thank you."
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