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Couple Finds Complete Cancer Care at Atrium Medical Center

When Gary and Vicki Leigeber said, “In sickness and in health”, they never knew they would truly act out their wedding vows.

Listen to Vicki and Gary in their own words.  Click play below or read the transcript.

Vicki found a lump in her breast but was between jobs and had no medical insurance so she didn’t have it checked. By the time she had insurance and had a mammogram she had a very large mass in one breast and a mass in her other breast as well. The prognosis was not good. The only glimmer of good news was that the cancer was contained.

Vicki endured two rounds of very heavy chemotherapy to help shrink the larger of the two tumors so it was operable. Vicki ended up having a bilateral mastectomy. Her positive, optimistic attitude helped her immensely and little did she know that same attitude was going to help her husband.

A few months after Vicki’s last radiation treatment, Gary was diagnosed with rectal cancer. The first decision he made was to seek treatment from his wife’s medical oncologist, Mary Ellen Broadstone-Gaeke at Atrium Medical Center.

When the shoe was on the other foot, so to speak, Vicki told Gary she wasn’t sure she could handle watching him go through the surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Gary simply asked her to be there and push him through the tough times. “And she was there for me.”

Dr. Broadstone-Gaeke says there are medical studies that show people who have a great support system ultimately do better than those who tackle the disease and treatment alone.

Gary said a calming aspect to his and Vicki’s ordeals was Dr. Broadstone-Gaeke’s clear, easy-to-understand, confident explanation of what they were about to endure. He said her ultimate goal is to get rid of the cancer but at the same time she took care of them emotionally and physically.

Gary and Vicki had all their treatment done at Atrium Medical Center and they couldn’t be happier. “It makes it so much easier to go through the process of healing when you have people who genuinely care,” said Vicki.

Gary and Vicki are doing very well and neither has shown any recurrence of their disease.