Grateful Patients Make Bruno Cancer Center Upgrade Possible

Sandy and Ted Berglund
Sandy and Ted Berglund

According to Sandy Berglund, her husband, Ted, was a talker, an outgoing guy who could walk into a roomful of strangers and soon be acquainted with everyone in it. So not long after he began treatment for advanced cancer at the Ascension St. Vincent’s Bruno Cancer Center, he was on a first-name basis with many of the staff and conversed with them whenever he was there.

“It was during one of those conversations that he learned about the center’s aging CT simulator,” said Sandy. “He knew right away that he wanted to give back by helping to replace it.”

So the Berglunds made a contribution through Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation towards the purchase of a new machine.

“Ted said he wanted future patients to have an even better chance at recovery than he had, and he hoped this would help,” said Sandy. “I’ll always be proud of him for making this decision without hesitation.”

Debbie and Jim Wadsworth
Debbie and Jim Wadsworth

In March 2023, Debbie Wadsworth began a course of radiation treatments for breast cancer at the Bruno Cancer Center.

“I met Dr. Susan Salter and her staff and was extremely impressed with their dedication and loving treatment of all their patients,” she said. “I told Dr. Salter that my husband, Jim, and I wanted to do something for the cancer center, and she told me about the great need for a new CT simulator.”

So, like the Berglunds, the Wadsworths contacted the Foundation and arranged for a contribution of their own.

“… he wanted future patients to have an even better chance at recovery than he had, and he hoped this would help.”

The Berglund and Wadsworth donations, along with a third contribution by Anne and Benny LaRussa, Sr., were combined with capital from the Bruno Cancer Center Fund. An additional $100,000 provided by Ascension St. Vincent’s helped secure the funds for a new, state-of-the-art CT simulator.

“We are extremely grateful for the generosity of the donors who have committed to the purchase of the new CT simulator,” said Susan Salter, MD, a radiation oncologist at Bruno Cancer Center. “Their support will help us reduce time to treatment and ultimately improve cancer outcomes.”

A CT simulator, said Dr. Salter, is the most powerful tool available for producing the high-quality images needed for developing effective treatment plans and delivering safe, precise radiation therapies. In addition, the new technology will provide faster scan times, improve image quality, and reduce respiratory motion.

“Prior to radiation therapy treatment,” she said, “patients must undergo a CT simulation during which they are positioned in the same way they will be treated each day on the linear accelerator. CT simulation is crucial during the planning process to protect healthy tissue and deliver optimal treatment.”

The CT also has a built-in laser system that can reduce errors when positioning a patient and a built-in display on the gantry, which allows the therapist to stay with the patient at the table for improved safety.

Upcoming 10-Year Milestone

In September, Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation will host a special event at the Bruno Cancer Center to celebrate 10 years of healing and compassionate care at the “new” Bruno Cancer Center.

“We are excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary being in our current building,” said Dr. Salter. “This will give us the opportunity to unveil the new CT simulator and share our future plans for providing comprehensive care and support for our patients and their families.”

The Bruno Cancer Center has been serving the community by providing compassionate care and innovative treatments for those affected by cancer since 1989.

Supporting the mission of the Bruno Cancer Center promotes exceptional care for cancer patients, as well as hope and support for them and their families. Won’t you help? Make a donation today.

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