MV Hospital Annual Fund
“Pictured here with Carla is her husband Steve, daughter Baylee, and son Brad. Carla’s belief in being positive is contagious – ask any of her co-workers.
Her deep love for her family is evident on this
beautiful day in September 2012.”
I’ve loved babies since I was a little girl. I began by caring for my baby dolls in every way – dressing, bathing and singing to them – even putting real food in their pretend mouths. For me, babies have always been the best medicine in the world.
No real surprise then that I ended up as a Licensed Practical Nurse with a goal of obtaining an advanced degree in nursing. I started my dream job working in the Maternity Department at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in 1986.
Ironically, I would never be able to have children of my own. At the age of 26 I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was told by doctors that I most likely would not see the young age of 30. After a hysterectomy and a heavy round of chemotherapy, I was in remission for 5 ½ years before the cancer returned. Following more surgery and another round of chemo, my second remission lasted 3 years and my third, just a year and a half.
But I’m an optimist – silver linings exist, you just have to have hope and faith.
Despite my health issues, my husband Steve and I were able to adopt two beautiful children, Brad in 1991 and Baylee in 2009. We officially welcomed Baylee the day after her 4th birthday and the day after Brad graduated from high school. We had so much joy to celebrate that week.
To keep my cancer at bay, I’ve needed chemotherapy every 2-3 weeks for the last few years. Previously, I spent an entire day traveling to and from Hyannis for treatment but now I am able to get my care at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital through the Infusion Outpatient Department. My 2-hour chemo treatment on the Vineyard gives me my life back so that I have more time to do what I love – spend time with my family and nurture new mums and their babes.
I have to admit, it feels a bit weird sometimes being on the receiving end of care, but it has helped me even more appreciate the amazing team of healthcare professionals we have at our hospital. My personal struggles have taught me a lot about patience, compassion and willpower – all lessons I try to exercise and share with my patients during one of the most important moments in their lives.
Life throws curveballs – you just have to stay strong and remember what matters. As I approach my 50’s, every birthday I celebrate or attend feels like a gift. I am looking to the future, working toward my RN degree thanks to the Bridge Program at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital which helps employees earn new credentials in today’s ever evolving healthcare industry.
Whether you are the one being cared for, or you know someone who is, I hope you will reflect on the importance of our Island hospital and be generous with your support.
P.S. Become a sustaining contributor by setting up an automatic monthly contribution via your credit card.
Or just give us a call at 508-693-4645 and we can take your gift information over the phone including sustaining pledges—plus you get to talk to a real person and get a real thank you! We truly appreciate your support and your patience.