Thursday, March 19, 2015

Kathy Robinette's "Because of GBMC" Story

Kathy Robinette's daughter,
Katie, and her husband.
Every one of us has a story we can share. Think of a past event in your life related to GBMC. Whether it’s care you received, an opportunity you have, or a loved one you remember, this event should have very personal meaning to you. What’s happened in your life since your experience at GBMC? Read Kathy Robinette’s story below, and share yours at

Kathy Robinette’s Story

I would like to first thank you for the opportunity to tell my family story to such a dedicated, professional and caring intuition as GBMC. GBMC is among the very best hospitals, in my opinion.

In the fall of 2011, my daughter, Katie, lost part of the vision in her right eye during a neurology lecture. She had been married only nine months and was fulfilling her dream of becoming a nurse. She was seen by a neuro-ophthalmologist at a Baltimore hospital, evaluated and sent for a brain MRI. In short, she had nine-hour brain surgery to get a biopsy and was diagnosed with an optic pathway glioma, a rather rare and fatal brain tumor that was malignant and inoperable.

Katie was seen by a group of specialists at the brain tumor center at Duke. Due to the distance between her home and Duke, she had to find a local oncologist that would agree to treat and follow her. We were very fortunate to have GBMC agree to take her as a patient. Dr. Gary Cohen began to follow her for her care and treatment, which began in late fall of 2011. I can’t think of a more professional, brilliant, courteous and kind man than Dr. Cohen. He has taken such good care of my daughter, and has been a huge champion in her care and treatment as she fights to live the most normal life possible. My son-in-law is at every appointment with Katie, and it obvious that Dr. Cohen doesn’t just treat her; he is very concerned about and attentive to the well-being of my son-in-law as well.

I never thought that physicians were much on treating and caring for the entire family unit, but it’s apparent that Dr. Cohen is not the average physician by any means. He is calm, very kind, always available and continually goes beyond the scope of a physician. He has always been prompt and available after his normal business hours, which has been very reassuring to both Katie and her husband.

As for the Emergency Department staff members, they, too, have been more than amazing. Katie has had the best care, treatment and understanding from the physicians, nurses, radiology team and supporting staff members. It seems they remember her as she has unfortunately landed in the ED on several occasions over the past three years.

Katie has been cared for and treated by the oncology floor as an inpatient on several occasions. They are true professionals and have been so kind and caring when she has been on that floor; she has been there many times and for long stays as well.

On a couple of occasions, Katie has had care and treatment by a few other physicians at GBMC. They are as follows: Dr. Michael Sellman, Chief, Division of Neurology; Dr. Niraj Jani, Chief, Division of Gastroenterology and Dr. Marc Dubin, Co-director, Minimally Invasive Pituitary and Skull Base Center. Again, these physicians are tremendously kind, caring and experts in their respective fields. Collectively, they have given Katie the best care and concern over any physician we have dealt with on a local level.

During her course of chemotherapy, which went on for two years, Katie was treated in the GBMC infusion center every other Friday for her IV chemotherapy. What an amazing group of kind nurses and support staff there. Calling her by first name and taking away the normal fears that a cancer patient would experience was first class all the way.

I’m not too sure where my family would be without the care and treatment my daughter has received from GBMC. We are happy to report that Katie beat all odds! She is a full-time nurse and working on a medical surgical floor in a Harford County hospital. In just a couple of days, Katie will celebrate being brain tumor-free for two years. Her past MRI scans show no tumor re-growth and she has regained her vision.

Thank you to all of the staff and support teams at GBMC for all of their care and help with what has been the most difficult time of Katie’s life. We continue to seek out treatment at GBMC and return for continued monitoring of Katie’s brain in hopes that she remains a healthy, happy and productive member of society. Lastly, I can’t think of anywhere in the Maryland area that would provide such care and genuine concern to a fragile, complex and frightened young lady diagnosed with a brain tumor. GBMC stands high on my list as the very best hospital.

My Katie is alive, working full-time and is brain tumor-free as of March 8, 2013. I have so much to be thankful for...thank you GBMC!!!

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