Even as Sue Brenner was going through chemotherapy for breast cancer she considered herself lucky. As soon as a routine mammogram revealed a problem, the team at NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center was in motion. “Almost immediately (nurse navigator) Beth Weigel contacted me,” said Brenner. “I wanted to know right away what I was dealing with and I got a call at 6 p.m. on a Friday with the results of my biopsy.”
Brenner had a lumpectomy with Katharine Yao, MD, Director of NorthShore’s Breast Surgical Program and underwent chemotherapy with oncologist and breast cancer specialist Douglas Merkel, MD, and radiation with William Bloomer, MD. Her chemotherapy treatments began in March, and one of her prime concerns was feeling good enough to enjoy her son’s wedding in May.
Brenner credits her NorthShore team for its compassionate treatment and flexibility in scheduling six cycles of chemotherapy in a manner that met her needs, so that both the bridal shower and the wedding fell on her “good” weeks. In addition to feeling good, Brenner wanted to look her best for the big day, and losing her hair through chemo was a concern. A referral from Weigel led Brenner to a high-quality source for wigs.
“It was really incredible how comfortable I felt, and how natural I looked,” she said. “Mid-way through chemotherapy I started thinking how lucky I was; I have very good insurance, a great support system of family and friends. I wondered what I could do to give back.”
Brenner chose to help other Kellogg Cancer Center patients with a generous donation to fund wig purchases for those without the resources to do so. Two years cancer-free, Brenner continues to be gratified by the ability to help others, and grateful for the tremendous care she received.
Her philanthropic support reflects Brenner’s own generosity and the positive impact of the superior and compassionate care she received.
“I would recommend my physicians and the NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center to anyone. They were a great team and they really listened to me,” Brenner said.