When you’ve lost hope…

In early December, 2011, I was diagnosed with a rare tumor on my carotid artery. I had lymph node involvement I was told and immediate medical attention was warranted. Before I could digest the news, I was also told that I needed a team of "specialty" Physicians for the best possible outcome and therefore, must seek care outside of my home state. Fortunately, my loving and supportive family wasn't willing to lose hope. My husband, children and siblings wasted no time researching medical providers and hospitals with outstanding reputations. While I remained stunned, my family jointly encountered a helpful medical assistant that immediately shared my cat scan results with Dr. Juan Carlos Jimenez before I presented as a new patient. Within 20 minutes, I received a return telephone call with a new patient appointment two days after! As frightened as I was, my initial visit with Dr. Jimenez was positive and reassuring. His gentle manner made me and my family feel as though a heavy burden had been lifted and I was going to be o.k. Dr. Jimenez then referred me to Dr. Joel Sercarz as part of his surgical team. After a successful albeit intense surgical procedure, I also required radiation therapy. Then I met Dr. Steve Lee and became a patient of his. I feel so very fortunate to have had these three outstanding Physicians to care for me. I also commend the staff at the UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, the Physician's helpful, efficient and caring office staff/team, and the radiation therapy staff. I traveled from New Mexico for my care and today, February 2013, I am cancer free! As traumatic as this medical event has been, the care of "my" Physicians and the UCLA Health System has been second to none. I will always be grateful, and continue to make the long-distance trek for all of my follow-up care. A special thanks to my Physicians, as well as Fatima (Vascular Dept.) and Jay (Head & Neck Surgical Dept.). Thank you all for giving me my life back!

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