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Crossing the Finish Line

Advanced cancer care is closer than you may think.

As Helen Fontaine was preparing to receive her last rounds of treatment out of state, she received the news that travel restrictions due to COVID – 19 would prevent her from entering Texas. Helen, who lives in Belle Chasse, Louisiana, was at one point driving six hours every week to be treated for lymphoma, a cancer that starts in cells that are part of the body’s immune system. As she was left wondering how this would affect her treatment, Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center was there to help her cross the finish line and complete her last round of chemotherapy.

“At first I was upset I wouldn’t be able to finish treatment at the cancer center I had been going to, but then Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center was so welcoming and helpful they put my mind at ease,” said Helen.

After receiving a call from Helen, our Patient Navigation Team worked quickly to coordinate with her previous cancer center to ensure her treatment plan stayed on track. Helen was able to receive treatment just a day after her original appointment was scheduled.

“Everyone was so willing to help, check-in was easy and I was thankful for being able to schedule an appointment so quickly,” said Helen.

“I always joke that I’m directionally challenged so I was a little nervous going to a new facility, but a staff member walked me to my appointment and was by my side every step of the way,” said Helen. “Coming from such a big facility you don’t normally receive that personalized care so it was nice to have someone by my side, especially for my last round of treatment.”

A number of patients who were traveling out of state for treatment have experienced disruptions in care. However, in most case, our Patient Navigation Team can help quickly connect them with a local oncologist who can get them back on track. Additionally, our physicians have close ties to many cancer centers throughout the region and have worked with many oncologists to transfer patient care back home when possible.

For more information on accessing care locally, please contact us by calling (225) 767-0847 or emailing navigators@marybird.com.