Maria’s Story

Maria, from McHenry, faithfully comes to the Clinic to keep her diabetes and high lipid levels under control and for her regular Pap test and mammogram each year.  Last November, she had a routine mammogram through the Clinic’s Celebremos program.  This time the result was different.  The screening revealed a lump in Maria’s left breast.  Maria, whose English is limited, began a battery of testing at Centegra which determined the lump was cancerous.  But the language barrier did not add to the family’s stress because Clinic staff member, Abby Padilla helped Maria navigate the health care system.  Abby explained to Maria all of the oncologist’s treatment options.  Maris chose a mastectomy and underwent surgery in December.  Abby was with her the day of the surgery for support and to ensure she understood the pre- and post-surgical procedures.  She helped Maria follow up on treatment, and was always available to answer questions.  Abby’s care and involvement made a very scary experience a little less formidable.  The hospital worked with Maria to set up a payment plan that was affordable.  Without the Clinic’s services, Maria believes she would have died because the tumor would never has been detected.
“The Clinic is a blessing.”  says Maria, who has been with the Clinic for the past 14 years.