From Caregiver to Patient

Shay was the Director of Imaging at SSM Health St. Anthony when her life took a startling turn. One afternoon she volunteered for a mammogram to help test the department’s equipment. To her surprise, the test showed a need for further evaluation. Within days, Shay officially became a St. Anthony cancer patient.

Shay had no reason to suspect she was a candidate for breast cancer. She had no known risk factors and was simply helping out the department when she decided to get the mammogram. She was absolutely shocked to receive her diagnosis.

Everything moved quickly from there… Shay underwent surgery to remove the cancer, then reconstruction followed by chemo. She fought back fast, and she fought hard. Shay won.

As a caregiver, it really brought home what it’s like to be on the other side of health care but I knew that I was in the best hands at St. Anthony.

Shay’s faith, determination and positive attitude helped her tremendously throughout her cancer battle. She made it through daily struggles by focusing on “what’s next.” She kept looking ahead, and never behind. Shay is still doing that today, looking ahead to her future—a life free from cancer—and helping others.

It’s common to see Shay walking the halls, sharing love and support with others going through what she’s now on the other side of. Shay started volunteering while still a patient, delivering cancer care packs to patients after she finished each of her own chemo sessions. “You always forget about yourself when you’re helping someone else,” Shay said.

That’s why this campaign goal is important. We must grow with the need, and an expanded cancer center will allow us to provide more for our patients—our fighters like Shay—who come out stronger and empowered to keep moving forward. Be like Shay. Give back.

Shay Jones seated at counter with care package

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