Patient Navigation Services

The YWBCAF's proceeds benefit The Patient Navigator Program at the Magee-Womens Hospital's Women's Cancer Center in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. It is important for young women to work through their feelings, questions and frustrations about cancer. A patient navigator can guide them to a greater understanding. How they feel can affect how they look at themselves, how they view life, and what decisions they make about treatment. Women are the best advocates and a patient navigator can help them seek out reliable, up-to-date information and talk to family members, friends and their health care team. Finding good sources of support will help women take control of their situation and make informed decisions. In addition, navigation will encourage participation in research to uncover strategies for prevention, early detection and treatment for young women with breast cancer.

"I want to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for all of the information you provided in our phone conversation on Wednesday and especially for the kind words of encouragement you offered. This has come as quite a shock to my family and me. We are all trying to wrap our heads around the situation, and we're trying to comprehend and absorb what lies ahead for us. I'm sure, that in the months ahead, I'll be in touch with you to help me sort through things, but I wanted to let you know that I truly appreciate the support network that is at my disposal through you and the Oncology Patient Navigator program at UPMC. Until now, I had no idea such a program even existed, but thank goodness it does!” “…..Through all of this, our patient navigator, Lorraine has been wonderful.  She stayed with us last week through the plastic surgeons visit to go over any questions we might have and just “be there” for me. Everyone has been very supportive and I cannot thank you enough for your help in finding such wonderful doctors.  My mind can focus on healing and recovery rather than ‘do I have the right doctor? ‘Do I need a second opinion? etc.’  Each step of this path has shown me how very lucky I am to have the people in my life that I do.  Caring and support at every turn from my personal relations to the medical contacts.  Magee is a wonderful hospital and I am lucky to be in Pittsburgh with breast cancer.  I will continue to keep you informed and include you in my prayers of thanks for your graceful help.”

This patient is a single, courageous 31-year old woman who was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. She lives with six family members, but has very limited support. She also has a learning disability and is illiterate. The navigator became involved due to the patient having a very limited support system and limited comprehension of the severity of her advanced, aggressive disease.

The navigator nominated the patient for an all-expense paid trip with Crossing the Finish Line, a nonprofit organization that helps families and their loved ones confront cancer hardships together through respite travel experiences. She was granted the 7 day trip and traveled to Florida in October 2010 with her sister where they were able to strengthen the healing force of their bonds and create immeasurable job amidst devastating crisis. They enjoyed day trips to the Disney Parks and escaped the repetition of her near-daily medical appointments for a short while. Less than two months after the patient’s respite trip, her cancer further metastasized to the bones in her legs and hips and she is now unable to walk without assisting devices. She optimistically continues with aggressive treatment of chemotherapy and ran.

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