While breast cancer is a very serious issue, let me share my story of some amazing women and men that I have met in my position at the DeWitt Community Hospital Foundation, the local fundraising organization that supports Genesis Medical Center – DeWitt. Laughter is the best medicine according to them! I have been with the foundation for 10 months, but after meeting Sherry Stauffer, the woman who started the entire month of local breast cancer awareness, her passion soon inspired me too! I am graciously aware of my surroundings when I sit around a table of 13 amazingly kind, courageous and very humorous individuals on our Pink for the Cure Committee. Six members of this committee are breast cancer survivors. The rest of us have either had or know someone affected by this crazy disease. Yet, at every meeting there is one common goal . . . get the word out to everyone about getting annual mammograms to help with early detection. There is not a meeting where we don’t laugh or think of something joyful. If you’re lucky enough to meet one of these inspiring women be prepared to laugh; they may tell you a prosthesis story or a good one about a wig!
Feel the passion! Get your pink on for the month of October as we celebrate our fifth anniversary of these great events (Five years is a big number for survivors of breast cancer as a milestone in their journey).
–Robin Krogman – Director, DeWitt Community Hospital Foundation
Facts about Breast Cancer in the United States
One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women.
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
Each year it is estimated that over 246,660 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and more than 40,000 will die of the disease.
Although breast cancer in men is rare, each year an estimated 2,600 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer and approximately 440 of them will die.
On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer, and one woman dies of breast cancer every 13 minutes.
Over 2.8 million breast cancer survivors are alive in the United States today. This remarkable number is directly related to early detection and treatment,
Different families consider different amenities important when they are relocating to a new community. For some, it may be recreational sports; for others, proximity of fine arts opportunities; and for still others, access to churches, a library or a movie theater. When my husband and I chose DeWitt in 1972, it was a pleasant little town of about 4,000 residents, with friendly people and all the necessities we desired — including excellent schools and a hospital just down the street.
In those early days, with three children then kindergarten-age and younger, we did not know how often we would remind each other of the importance of having a hospital close by. The first week we were here, our 3-year-old developed an earache, and I packed up the morning kindergartner and the newborn to spend what I expected would be the whole afternoon at the doctor’s office with a feverish, whiney toddler and his siblings. After all, we were new and did not know a soul to ask a babysitting favor, let alone did we have a family doctor.
The kindly receptionist “worked us in” and soon our son was on the road to recovery, and my sanity was preserved. There were many other occasions when our family was able to be seen on short notice, and we always appreciated being able to fill prescriptions or have lab tests done right here in DeWitt.
For a time, we were frequent flyers in the emergency room and on a first-name basis with the x-ray tech as our well-rounded children tested their super powers. I learned to take stitches and casts in stride and became adept at wrapping appendages in bread bags so they would not get wet in the shower. Again, it was great to have our hospital just down the street.
I delivered Baby No. 4 at DeWitt Community Hospital. it was, by far, the best birthing experience of the four, made special because by that time, I had gotten acquainted in the community and knew some of the nurses and aides who cared for us.
When my husband developed complications from a blood clot after open heart surgery at another hospital, the local staff took special care of him until it finally became apparent he needed to be moved back to the larger facility to receive more extensive care. But the TLC he — and I — received is something I never will forget.
Fast forward 34 years, and I again was hospitalized just last fall in DeWitt — this time for double pneumonia. While it was not pleasant being ill, I received the best of care from friendly, caring staff who are very good at what they do and who did everything they could to make me comfortable. From the environmental services staff to the kitchen crew to nurses, aides and special technicians who monitored my health, I absolutely felt I was in the best hands.
Need a mammogram, blood work, a colonoscopy, cataract surgery or other procedure done? Chances are it can be done in DeWitt. But healthcare does not happen just at the hospital and doctor’s clinics. Patients seeking competent, friendly practitioners at dental, optometry and chiropractic offices, in physical therapygyms and massage therapy salons will find them here as well.
Assisted living services are available at Maggie’s House, and the community is blessed to have several senior living complexes that cater to those who still live independently. And when skilled nursing care is indicated, Westwing Place is among the best in the country. My grandmother was a resident there for 22 years — until the ripe old age of 103 — a milestone I attribute to the wonderful care she received.
Yes, quality health care is abundant in DeWitt. I cannot imagine raising a family in a town without a hospital or other medical services that are not only convenient and easily accessible but also top-notch.
People in DeWitt have more convenience and less travel to be able to experience high-standards in health care then ever before. Here are five habits of their success.
Be loyal to the cause. It’s no coincidence in 2014 and 2015, Genesis Medical Center – DeWitt was named “Top 20 Hospitals for Quality of Care” by the National Rural Health Association. The quality of care comes from a combination of cutting edge equipment, elite specialists and outstanding in-patient, out-patient and emergency care. They have made it a habit to provide high quality and compassionate care to the DeWitt area since 1952. Other health leaders like DeWitt Dental Associates, Hill Chiropractic, DeWitt Eyecare Clinic, and GMC-DeWitt have served DeWitt for over 35 years.
Try something different. For those who do not seek traditional healthcare, there are five practices in DeWitt which offer chiropractic care and homeopathy options. For example, Stress Solutions Unlimited uses cutting edge light and sound technology such as light bed therapy and ION cleanse to assist their clients. They also offer nutrition education, brain-based and natural healing therapies.
Building strength. There are three physical rehabilitation centers in town, as well as four massage therapy centers. Booked days in advance, these places offer rebuilding and rejuvenation of health through aquatic, neurological rehab, sports performance, hand and orthopedic therapies to name a few. The two fitness centers also do their share of strength training. For the ninth year in a row, starting on January 25th, the DeWitt Fitness Center offers a 10-week Get Fit DeWitt wellness program which encourages individuals to form teams to achieve weight loss goals.