In October 2016 I spent almost three days in Mercy Hospital in Clinton being treated for dehydration and a severe case of food poisoning. (The source of the bacteria was never officially determined). I left Mercy Hospital with an entirely different opinion of the medical care I had expected to experience.

Every one of the medical and nursing staff that treated me during this stay has to be among the finest group of professionals available. I came away certain this same compassionate and attentive care runs throughout the Mercy Hospital system.

Now the professionals at Mercy Hospital are working to provide more advanced cancer treatment equipment. A capital campaign is underway, seeking corporate and personal donations to support the multi-million dollar linear accelerator upgrade to be available in Clinton. Without this equipment, cancer patients will have to travel to Iowa City to receive what can sometimes be daily treatment. I have no personal or family experience with a need for such treatments, but I understand the effects of such can sometimes make for a less than enjoyable road trip of almost 100 miles each way.

One does not need to live in Clinton, or even in Iowa, to benefit from this new medical upgrade. Cancer knows no city limit or state boundary; it affects people of all walks of life and any home address. Anyone living within 50 miles of Clinton’s Mercy Hospital is a potential benefactor of having this treatment available closer to their home.

I will be making a personal donation to this campaign. I encourage you to also consider making a donation in whatever amount you can. Please stop to think about what you would have to do to receive cancer treatment for yourself or a family member if this upgrade in equipment was not available locally. Let’s put this capital campaign over the top now, before anyone has to make the long commutes for treatment under less than ideal physical and emotional situations.

Les Shields,


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