Source: Gilroy Dispatch
Before her cancer diagnosis last year, Raquel Herrera, did not give much thought to the disease.
“Not having cancer, I didn’t pay attention,” said the 47-year old Gilroyan who was told she had breast cancer after doctors found a 4-inch tumor. “Now that I am going through treatment I have learned there is a lot more to it.”
Herrera changed oncologists since her diagnosis and is a patient of Dr. Lynne Bui at the Global Cancer Research Center in the Saint Louise Regional Hospital complex.
“Dr. Bui has been phenomenal, the staff is great, everyone is friendly and you get to know everybody,” she said, “and most importantly, I haven’t gotten sick.”
Patients undergoing treatment can be at the center for hours at a time, said Sandra Prado, a member of the doctor’s staff.
To make their stay more comfortable, Prado has started a co-fundraiser with San Francisco-based Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo, a nonprofit agency that brings interior designers and artists together to transform chemotherapy treatment rooms into calm, beautiful and stress-free places of healing.
“Dr. Bui puts out a lot of her own money for patient care, knowing she may not be reimbursed,” said Prado. “It’s all about the patients.”
Prado said they hope to raise $9,000 to get the infusion room redecorated, currently a bland set-up with off-white walls and little color.
“It’s important to make the patient feel relaxed,” said Prado. “They are already stressed and scared. We want them to feel more comfortable and ‘at home.’”
She added: “This is a resting place for many, as they don’t sleep well at home because they are scared. So a lot of times they are here resting, or trying to.”
Volunteers, some of whom are patients, have made blankets or brought pillows, said Prado.
“Patients can become close because they can relate to what each other is going through.”
Rooms That Rock 4 Chemohas converted more than 190 rooms in 19 facilities, according to their website. The work has benefited more than 800,000 patient visits per year.
Over the course of three days, the group brings artists and designers to oversee a volunteer force that do the actual work in transforming the treatment room.
By the time Monday rolls around, Prado said, the room will be redone, adorned with colorful stencils and original artwork.
Work is scheduled to be done June 24-26. In addition to monetary donations, they are also seeking volunteers and in-kind donations, like paint, brushes and food for the volunteers.
“When you are dealing with cancer you are scared and want to go where you feel safe,” said Dr. Bui, who leads the first and only community-based dedicated Phase 1 to 4 clinical trial unit in hematology and medical oncology in Northern California. “Inviting and comfortable environments that are stress-free help patients and their families through this journey.”
To donate online go to: https://www.classy.org/checkout/donation?eid=76849 or https://www.gofundme.com/25q79je2. Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org to volunteer or donate.
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