The place we came to when we were in crisis

Marvin Savola, Patient

I’m a former patient and I came here for over 7 years. My wife and I opted to stop chemo and choose quality of life instead, but I’m still praying for healing. I have blood bone cancer called multiple myeloma, and I’ve been in remission twice already.

July was the last time we were here. The staff is always upbeat and extremely helpful. Even when I was really sick, really out of it, they would stay late to help me. They’ve always been there for my wife and I and they’re always encouraging.

We’ve been here so much it felt like home. They have the right people here because they’re just wonderful, caring staff. Dr. Mishra was my cancer doctor. She really listens, and she’s kind of a no nonsense person. She does lecture you every now and then but with good reason. She explains things to you if you don’t understand; she’ll use charts and use whatever it takes to help you. All of the volunteers here have a story, it’s been great getting to know them as well. The last few years we’ve basically been living at the hospitals and doctor’s offices, and since we stopped coming we noticed we really miss the people here.

You get to know other people, patients, and you try to lift their spirits. Being a former pastor, I often pray with the people here just to try and encourage them. We have told people over and over, this is the place to go. The employees are friendly and they are always meeting the needs of the patients.

This is our first year coming here on Halloween. I actually ran into a nurse at Meijer and she told me about the Halloween party and told me we should go. I hope we can do this every year for the next 20 years. We’re just living it day by day, one day at a time with God’s help. We’ve learned to appreciate each day.

My advice is, for people who are just starting their cancer journey or if they’re feeling anxious – they need to talk. It is okay to cry, there’s no prescribed way to react to cancer. It is a judgement free zone. They have a calming, healing environment too which helps.

We are grateful for the team here – and it is a team. The place we came to when we were in crisis – they made us feel really good here.