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

When George L. 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 had recently lost his job and insurance, so he didn't want to visit the urgent care, but he was ultimately glad he did.

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, a medical oncologist and independent member of the HonorHealth Medical Staff.

“Before this, I did not know what an oncologist was," said George. "It was overwhelming at first, but Dr. Patel made the process simple and very easy to understand. 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.” 


George's HonorHealth leukemia patient story

Even though George had recently lost his health insurance, Dr. Patel worked with the hospitalists at HonorHealth Deer Valley Medical Center and Adrienne Briggs, MD, a hematologist and independent member of the HonorHealth Medical Staff, 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," said George. "Stephanie, my case manager, was on it and helped me through the whole insurance part. She gave me different options and made it painless." 

George started his 30-day treatment in the Acute Leukemia Program at HonorHealth Scottsdale Shea Medical Center.

“I was amazed with the whole procedure," said George. "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.” 

On the road to recovery

“George did great with his leukemia induction therapy," said Dr. Briggs. "He is in remission and will finish his therapy (about six months) in our outpatient clinic.”

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.

Care that's made for you

HonorHealth's Cancer Transplant Institute provides expert care for a wide range of non-cancerous blood disorders and blood malignancies, including the various types of leukemias, lymphomas and myelomas.

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