President continues to show disrespect

As a 20-year resident of Clinton, and a woman who has battled breast cancer, I greatly appreciate the world class health care facility we have in the Mercy Hospital and its partnership with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Through this partnership, cancer patients are able to receive radiation treatments without the cost, hassle, and stress of travel during a life changing health challenge.

In February of 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had recently earned my graduate degree in nursing and started my new career as a nurse practitioner with Medical Associates. I was very much enjoying my roles as mother, spouse, and NP. I was blessed with a beautiful family and we all were enjoying living in small town Clinton. It was the dream life, until it wasn’t. It was determined that I had an aggressive breast cancer that would require a multi-faceted treatment therapy. I endured five chemotherapy treatments under the care of Dr. Anoop Aggarwal. He and his staff at Medical Associates provided wonderful, compassionate care. As a community, Clinton is blessed to have him here taking care of the people who need his expertise.

The next phase of my treatment included 38 daily radiation treatments. In many smaller communities advanced health care treatments, such as radiation, are not available and residents/patients must travel to larger cities for care and treatment. In many cases, much time is spent and miles are driven to obtain specialized care. Dr. Mark Dion and his staff at the Mercy Medical Radiation Oncology Center provided the state of the art radiation treatments that I needed. Through a partnership with University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics I was able to receive those treatments right here in Clinton. Every day for nearly two months I went to the Mercy Medical Center for radiation treatments that lasted only five minutes.

What a relief to commute five blocks, rather than drive 180 miles, round trip, daily to receive a treatment. Receiving these treatments locally allowed me to be home with my family rather than on the road all summer. It was comforting to know that I would be home before lunch, could spend the summer days with my children, and recover in my home instead of in a vehicle. The time and money saved by not have to commute to Iowa City was a blessing. This blessing is realized by Clinton county cancer patients every day. The Mercy Medical Radiation Oncology Center provides valuable service and health care to our region and allows patients to spend time and resources with family during a stressful health challenge. I am thankful I was able to obtain the treatments I needed in my hometown from professionals I call friends who care about me.

I have now been cancer free for 7 1/2 years and appreciate every day with my family, friends, and community. Currently, the Mercy Medical Center is undergoing an effort to replace the linear accelerator needed for radiation treatments. Of the $8 million cost Mercy is providing $6 million while the other $2 million is being raised through private donations. My family and I have made a donation to this effort and are thankful every day that I was able to receive great, local cancer care. I’d like to ask everyone to invest in our community by making a donation for the replacement of this valuable healthcare technology.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this project.

Kami L. Tubbs,