From associate to patient: "You have cancer"
On New Year’s Eve, when most people consider the possibilities that lie ahead, Casie Elander, MEd., AT, concussion testing coordinator, OhioHealth Sports Medicine, was staring down a much different reality.
She had just received a diagnosis that she had cervical cancer.
Casie was referred to Gary Reid, MD, FACOG, FACS, OhioHealth Gynecologic Cancer Surgeons, who sat with her and her family and answered all of their questions.
“I knew he was the right doctor for me,” says Casie. It was a precursor to her own comforting experiences with Dr. Reid, who always presented all of her options and never tried to persuade her one way or the other.
“He took the time to meet me where I was, and he truly heard me,” says Casie. “I told him, ‘when you get in there, do what you have to do to save my life — I trust you implicitly.’ ”
Today, Casie is fast approaching her third anniversary of being cancer-free and parlays her experience to others in practical and heartfelt ways.
“I work with collegiate and high school athletes, and I’ve started to share my story and use this platform I’ve been given to advise young women not to ignore the signs and to get screened,” says Casie. “Had I skipped my annual exam, I would not have known I was sick.”
“Because of that experience, I can better give back to somebody else. Hospitals can be scary and daunting and it’s okay to be scared. I can acknowledge that and be there for young patients and their parents, and let them know it’s going to be okay.”