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Home > Giving > Cancer Care > Stories > Finding Joy in Helping Others
Most of us have heard that “laughter is the best medicine,” and Kathy Lariviere took that saying to heart when she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer in the fall of 2012.
“I was in shock. I didn’t feel sick. I kept waiting for someone to tell me there had been a mistake. It was surreal driving up to the Cancer Center to discuss my treatment plan,” said Kathy.
What Kathy found at the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center was an oncologist who took time to explain her chemo plan and a timeline, define big words, and make her feel like a human. She found nurses and techs who provided warm capes and blankets, looked her in the eye and saw her pain, and shared her wit and jokes while holding her hand.
“During all of these serious conversations, amusing thoughts popped into my head. It’s inappropriate to tell the oncologist that she’s messing up my travel plans for the winter, but sometimes it’s just easier to laugh than cry. And it seemed to work for me,” added Kathy.
It was the care and compassion that Kathy received during treatment that deeply affected a bigger decision. Kathy recognized that along the way, someone else had given a donation that allowed her to experience the best care that the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center offered. Kathy decided to include Mercy in her will.
“In the future, I can’t be there to help others laugh through their experience with cancer. This allows me to help support them in a way that lives on long after I’m gone,” said Kathy. “They call it ‘leaving a legacy,’ and after everything I’ve been through, I kind of like the idea of lightening the load for others,” added Kathy with a smile on her face.