Help me be LOUD!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

This letter explains it all, but sadly the center at the UofA that saved my life is closing. We are currently working on getting a very loud and clear message across to the CEO of the hospital, Dr. Waldrum, that this decision is a poor one that will affect many lives. Patients that are one, two or even three months out NEED follow up care. At this time they are only allowing the program to stay open for 90 more days. Please help me in being loud!
What can you do?
Call and ask for the office of CEO Waldrum at (520)694-0111 Be vocal and positive on why this program needs to stay open! 

Fax letters of support (example, mine below) to (520)6940170

Dr. Waldrum,

I am sure that as a hospital you receive many complaints. Health is something that is serious, sensitive, and every case is less than uniform. That seems to be the nature of most things, we hear the negative first, the hardships, the misdeeds, the unfair of all the world. I am writing you today with an opposite intention. I am writing you to rave about a specific program that you have at the UMC that is such a world renowned asset to your hospital. My job today is to explain why this is program needs to be funded, kept, and valued by all of your staff members.

For three long years I battled hereditary pancreatitis, starting at the age of 23. My pancreas was auto-digesting itself, which means the enzymes used to digest food were digesting the organ itself, causing horrific pain and scarring. I worked my way through a broken medical system, was labeled as a drug seeker, was told I was too young to have pancreas issues, was misdiagnosed with everything from gallstones to a virus. In reality,  my 87 pound, 5’9” frame was dying, and my pancreas was on its way to developing pancreatic cancer.

I found the Comprehensive Pancreatitis Center at the UMC. I called that very day and was and led through the approval process. My case was reviewed, I was accepted, and I began my journey through a total pancreatectomy with an auto-islet cell transplant. Through my process, I blogged, and with that blog I have reached 40,000 people, many who are afflicted with the same disease and are hopeless.

I am active in support groups for my disease and in those groups there are few centers that are so highly revered, your center being one of them. Several centers have popped up, but it is common knowledge that if you want a great outcome and world class surgeons, you need to go to the UMC. Dr. Grussner and Dr. Rilo are those surgeons, and they have saved my life as well as many of my now beloved friends lives. 

When a center such as yours saves your life, makes you whole again, and gives you hope that you will turn 30, get married, and have a family of your own, all things that were impossible prior, news that it may be closing its doors feels almost like a death in the family. I cried when I heard this news, and I panicked. I panicked because I only trust these two physicians with all things related to the pancreas.  These men have done something for me that every other physician said was impossible, and they succeeded.

Your center needs to stay, and if anything be expanded. There are far more pancreatitis patients out there that are being mistreated, misdiagnosed, and misguided by medical professionals, but not at the UMC. At the UMC, you are loved, treated respectfully, and given the hope and help that is needed to make a full recovery. Thank you for your time. Please keep the center as a valuable part of your hospital for years to come.

Whitney Yates

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