Cancer is something that is bound to touch us or someone we know in our lifetime. As the science around the disease improves, so do the outcomes. Avera Marshall will soon be expanding and providing cancer patients a place of hope and healing.
Gold shovels, speakers, and a crowd of people. All the makings of a ground breaking ceremony. Yes, it may look like a dozen people moving some dirt but what you don't see is the impact of this future building. This will be the Avera Cancer Institute Marshall and will be a godsend to people like Nancy Crowley.
"I was diagnosed with breast cancer on November 13, 2012, from there that was very scary but I guess I just always thought we are going to do this, we're going to make it through this! other people have, so that was the first start." Said Crowley.
To fight back, Nancy had to come to the Prairie Center in Sioux Falls for several weeks to receive daily radiation treatments. Lucky for Nancy she could stay with family during the week but being away from home still took its toll.
"Not being in your own bed and not doing the things that you're used to doing, I guess it makes it a little difficult." Said Crowley.
Nancy is not alone. It's estimated that cancer patients can make up to one hundred trips to receive their treatments. Fatigue is the number one side effect of chemo and radiation and a long car ride only aggravates things. Once construction is completed the hope is those trips will be much shorter.
"It's going to be huge, it's going to be fatigue-wise they're not going to be as tired traveling on the road, financial-wise, time-wise being able to be with their family more than being away from the family like Nancy was having to stay out of town now they will be home every night with your kids stuff that you never could do before." Said Deb Baumann, the chemotherapy infusion certified nurse at Avera Marshall.
When it opens, the Avera Cancer Institute Marshall will be on par with it's sister facility in Sioux Falls. With their own linear accelerator, radiation and a variety of treatments will be given locally.
"To have that here after all these years that we've been praying for people and looking forward to this I mean the administration has been working hard it's just so awesome to be able to see it." Said Baumann.
This building will help complete Avera's promise that no matter where you live, you'll always have access to the best quality care.
"I just think anybody that has this touch their life this is going to be a great thing for the Marshall community. The traveling, the being away from family is just, it takes a toll but you just work through it." Said Crowley.
While her cancer journey is nearing it's end Nancy is encouraged that future cancer patients will soon get the opportunity she didn't, to heal a little closer to home.
If you needed any more proof that the Marshall community is completely behind this new facility, they contributed over $10 million to help fund the project in less than one year. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.