'My care team was there for me every step of the way'

When George looks back on the past six weeks, he is grateful for the care team that eased his path as he faced a life-changing diagnosis.

It all started with back pain and a mild fever, which brought George to HonorHealth Urgent Care- Anthem, on June 16. He was originally unsure if he should even go to the doctor because he had recently lost his job and insurance.

The doctor who saw him at urgent care suspected that George may have something more serious than a backache.  He was referred to Abhishek Patel, MD, at HonorHealth Virginia G. Piper Cancer Care Network – Deer Valley. “Before this, I did not know what an oncologist was. It was overwhelming at first, but Dr. Patel made the process simple and very easy to understand,” said George. “Dr. Patel did some bloodwork tests and told me if I got a fever again that I should go to the ER. On June 29, I went to the ER at HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center because I had a high fever. I was admitted to the hospital and after some more tests, I was diagnosed with a highly treatable form of leukemia.” 


Even though George had recently lost his health insurance, Dr. Patel worked with the hospitalists at Deer Valley Medical Center and Adrienne Briggs, MD, to provide George the care he needed with clinical experts in HonorHealth’s Acute Leukemia Program, one of the few programs in Arizona that treats adult blood cancers. George was also connected with an HonorHealth case manager who helped him obtain insurance coverage. “I was amazed with the entire care team. Stephanie, my case manager, was on it and helped me through the whole insurance part. She gave me different options and made it painless,” said George. 

George started his 30-day treatment in the Acute Leukemia Program at HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center. “I was amazed with the whole procedure. The team was awesome and really made me feel at home. I couldn’t have any visitors due to the COVID-19 visitor restrictions, but the care team was great and helped me to stay positive,” said George. 

On the road to recovery

“Mr. Lay did great with his Leukemia Induction therapy. He is in remission and will finish his therapy (about six months) in our outpatient clinic,” stated Dr. Briggs. He’s very thankful for the care team and all they did to provide him with excellent care while partnering with others across the organization to help him obtain insurance coverage for his treatments. “Thank you for treating me like part of your family, rather than just a patient,” said George.

Leukemia treatment from HonorHealth

HonorHealth is one of the few health systems that treats adult blood cancers in Arizona. Learn more about how we care for leukemia patients.

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