Teresa Dyer’s story isn’t unusual when it comes to the topic of cancer diagnosis—she wasn’t feeling well, so made an appointment with her family care physician.
“When I didn’t get better, my doctor sent me to a specialist at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Research Medical Center,” says Dyer, age 52. “Following the results of a bone marrow biopsy, I was diagnosed with leukemia.”
Dyer, who lives Drexel, Missouri, underwent chemotherapy, spending a month at Research Medical Center during the aggressive treatment. Following discharge, Dyer continued a chemotherapy regimen for nearly four months; she is now on maintenance therapy, back at work full time—and in remission. Her experience at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Research Medical Center was one of compassion and love—an attitude found in her doctors, nurses and support staff that she says helped her navigate a rough journey.
“The care I received at Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Research Medical Center was amazing,” Dyer says. “Not only is my treatment convenient, one-stop with a remarkable continuity of care, there’s an amazing human element—a compassionate, supportive staff. They make you feel loved. They make you feel like you matter. They shined a light in my life when it was particularly dark.”
Dyer will join than 6,000 walkers participating in The Mid-America Chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) 2016 Light The Night Walk at 6 p.m. Sept. 30, 2016, at Cleveland University-Kansas City in Overland Park. The unique fundraising campaign for LLS brings together families and communities to honor blood cancer survivors and loved ones lost to the disease. The event also shines a light on the importance of finding cures and providing access to treatments for blood cancer patients. Jackie DeSouza-VanBlaricum, Chief Executive Officer of Research Medical Center, and Suman Kamphampati, M.D., of Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health are Corporate Walk Chairmen.
“I am honored, along with Dr. Kamphampati, to spearhead this powerful event,” says DeSouza-VanBlaricum. “At Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Research Medical Center we are witnesses every day to extraordinary stories of determination like Teresa Dyer’s. It is our mission to offer our patients and their families top-quality care and above all, we are committed to the care and improvement of human life.”
The Light The Night Walk is a family-friendly, non-competitive one-mile walk route and is accessible to all fitness levels. Each participant who raises $100 or more will become a Champion For Cure and will receive a t-shirt and an illuminated lantern on the night of the walk. Walkers carry illuminated lanterns showing how their lives have been affected by blood cancer – white for a survivor, red for a supporter and gold for walking in memory of someone. Cancer survivors in attendance at the Light the Night Walk are honored guests and receive these items regardless of their fundraising level. In 2015, Light The Night raised over $703,000 through sponsors, fundraising teams and individuals; this year’s goal is to raise $1 million.
To learn more about The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light The Night Walk in Kansas City, visit www.LightTheNight.org/mid. For more information on Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at Research Medical Center, visit researchmedicalcenter.com.