Patients completing chemotherapy at North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) will now share and celebrate their important milestone along with joy and hope with their fellow patients and care team.
Laurie Devine, former patient and Clerical Team Lead in the ER shared her experience and rang the newly unveiled Chemotherapy Bell for the first time in the unit.
“In February of 2020, I discovered a lump in my breast and went to see my family physician, Dr. Terry Rotondo, who immediately referred me for a biopsy. He reassured me, hoping it was an inflamed cyst. Even so, I was scared,” she shared.
It was a busy time in Laurie’s career and the COVID Pandemic was ramping up. “My biopsy confirmed I was HER2 cancer positive. The news was like getting kicked in the stomach. I couldn’t breathe and the tears poured from my soul. Immediately, Dr. Rotundo started the process of referrals for treatment. Thinking about this day still makes me cry. It is a constant reminder that your life can change in a moment and life can’t be taken for granted,” said Laurie.
Laurie received treatment locally and in Sudbury. She completed all of her treatments on August 9th of this year. “The love and support of my family and my NBRHC family was overwhelming and made this journey bearable. We don’t always appreciate the cost of advanced medical equipment and technology, until we need it,” said Laurie.
“Bells can be dated back to 2000 BC and have played an important role in history. They have called us to wake, to pray, to work, to arms, to feast, and in times of crisis, to come together. Today we unveil a bell of celebration and hope,” shared Paul Heinrich, President and CEO, NBRHC. “This bell is funded through kind donations and we thank our community for having an impact on patient experiences,” Heinrich added.
The Chemotherapy Unit at NBRHC has 10 treatment stations. Along with three internists, patients receive care from Nurses, Pharmacists, and Pharmacy Techs as well as admin support from the clerks. Patients are also supported with services from Social Work, Dieticians, Diagnostic Imaging and Home Care. In 2020/2021 2711 treatments were performed for local patients.
Laurie Devine rings the Chemotherapy Bell for the first time.
President & CEO
North Bay Regional Health Centre Foundation