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Home > Giving > Grateful Patient Giving > Kathy's Story
“I was in shock. I didn’t feel sick. I kept waiting for someone to tell me there had been a mistake," said Kathy Lariviere, remembering the moment she learned she had stage 2 breast cancer.
Kathy went on to describe her feelings as surreal the day she made the drive from her home in Center Point to Mercy’s Hall-Perrine Cancer Center to discuss her treatment plan. What Kathy found at Mercy that day was an oncologist who took time to explain her chemo plan and schedule; define medical terms; and make her feel like a human. And, with each visit to Mercy, she found compassion – from the 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.
Laughter is the best medicine; Kathy took that saying to heart throughout her breast cancer treatment.
“During all of these serious conversations, amusing thoughts popped into my head. It seemed 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,” Kathy said.
She later wrote a book about her experience, “Laugh with Kathy: Finding Humor in the Journey through Breast Cancer.”
It was the care and compassion that Kathy received during treatment that deeply affected an important decision. She decided to include the Mercy Foundation in her will with a gift designated to the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center. Kathy recognized that, along the way, someone else had given a donation that allowed her to experience the best care possible.
“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. 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.
Learn more about the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center or make a grateful patient donation now.