Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What GBMC Means to My Family

Dayna Bell with her husband, Jason, and
their daughter Ellie, now almost 3 years old.
In July, GBMC launched its first essay contest, asking fans to describe the impact that the hospital has had on their lives. Voting was held by GBMC Facebook followers and contestants’ peers on Facebook. Dayna Bell was the winner, earning herself a $100 gift card and the opportunity to have her essay published in Greater Living, GBMC's community publication. Congratulations, Dayna!

Best and Worst of Times
By Dayna Bell

As a homesick college freshman, I only knew GBMC as a landmark on Charles Street. It brought tears to my eyes to see it and know that I was getting closer to being dropped off at college. A year later, my feelings changed and it became the landmark that brought excitement, signifying that I was almost back to my home away from home.

GBMC became a much more significant part of my life 10 years later and ironically brought a similar pattern of sadness and fear that ended in the purest of joys. The sadness and fear came when I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 29. I went through months of treatments at GBMC in many different departments of the hospital. I was amazed to find that almost every staff member I met, from the custodial staff to the doctors, were so professional, kind and compassionate. No doubt that the treatment was top notch, but it was much more than that. Coming to a place for treatments that made you sick was horrible; however, it was the staff that kept me from kicking and screaming every time I had a chemotherapy appointment. It was actually one of the infusion nurses who made me feel confident enough to take off my wig when my hair was growing back in. I also first met the patient navigator there, who has since become one of my best friends.

Fast forward three years and GBMC became a place that shared the most joyous moment of my life – bringing my baby girl, Ellie, into the world. I went from going for weekly chemotherapy treatments to attending weekly baby classes and appointments to see my baby growing inside me. Those two events were such life-changing events for me, and GBMC was there for me through it all. It is now the golden standard to which I hold other hospitals. Visiting other hospitals, I am always thinking in my head, “GBMC does this better.” Even my husband has become a huge fan and thinks that the cafeteria is so great, he will actually suggest that we go there for dinner whenever we are in the area. Okay, that is a little strange, but when a place helps you through the worst and then best times of your life, you can’t help but hold it in a very special place in your heart.

Learn More

Visit www.gbmc.org/cancer or call 443-849-GBMC (4262) to get more information on the services offered at GBMC’s Sandra & Malcolm Berman Cancer Institute. And become a fan of GBMC on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/gbmcmedia to stay tuned for upcoming contests!

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