Heather Garigen and Wilmot Cancer Institute: A breast cancer survivor story

Heather Garigen and Wilmot Cancer Institute:

A breast cancer survivor story

The James P. Wilmot Cancer Center—the hub of the 11-location Wilmot Cancer Center—proudly opened its doors in 2008. The four-story, 164,000-square-foot building features the Comprehensive Breast Care Center, the first of its kind in upstate New York. This new facility brought together services that were previously spread throughout the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC). It quickly helped draw more medical and scientific talent to Rochester, and more and more patients could be helped as a result.

Additional floors were opened in 2012 and 2014, creating a comprehensive cancer hospital that provides not only the full continuum of inpatient and outpatient care, but that also facilitates the collaborations and connections among clinicians and researchers that benefit patients across the region.

Patients like Heather Garigen.

Wilmot was where Heather found expertise and comfort after learning she had breast cancer while pregnant with her third child. Heather’s cancer was rare and aggressive and needed the same level of aggressive treatment in return—including chemotherapy.

At Wilmot, a team of experienced oncologists and specialists in high-risk pregnancies created a plan to treat Heather’s cancer while protecting her unborn baby’s health. Her chemotherapy regimen lasted 16 weeks, ending just one month before the birth of her baby, Molly.

Today, Heather and Molly are both healthy and happy and are so grateful to Wilmot and for everything life has to offer.

Support Wilmot and cancer care
Today’s cancer care requires a multidisciplinary team to focus on precision medicine—matching the unique characteristics of an individual’s cancer with the therapies that are most effective against it. Having state-of-the-art facilities that encourage innovations in care and research help our patients survive cancer, thrive, and live healthy lives. To learn how you can support Wilmot and patients like Heather, contact Kristie Robertson-Coyne, Senior Director for Advancement for Wilmot Cancer Institute, at (585) 276-6250.You can also make a gift here.

Read Heather’s full story here.


—Story compiled by URMC Advancement Communications, June 2018

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