Though they may not wear tights and a cape, nor have their initials plastered to their chest, there are four extraordinary superheroes who have come into my life.
Dr. Almas Adatia. Superpower: Persistence.
- In December, I noticed I was tired and needed more sleep than usual. I went to my Family Doctor, Dr. Adatia, who suggested I have my blood levels checked. That was the very first time my hemoglobin level had plummeted to 70. She took this very seriously and had me go to Emergency immediately for a blood transfusion. With new blood in me, I felt alive again, but Dr. Adatia insisted on weekly blood tests which showed a continual decline. If it were not for her persistence and follow-through, I would have likely continued living like this indefinitely without any resolution to the cause of the blood loss.
Dr. Jean Wang. Hematologist, Princess Margaret Hospital. Superpower: The Connector.
- I met Dr. Wang, my first hematologist, at the Emergency department at Toronto General Hospital. I didn’t even know what a hematologist was! I appreciated her thoroughness and how seriously she took her job. Her focus was to get me to the right oncologist and get a treatment plan in place. She knew that time was of the essence, and she ensured I was connected to the right oncologist.
Dr. Rodger Tiedemann. Oncologist. Princess Margaret Hospital. Superpower: Superman.
- Dr. Tiedemann belongs in the extraordinary leagues of gentlemen. A big New Zealander, he graces the hospital with professionalism, good looks, competence and an accent that makes even the worst news about cancer, seem like poetry. Dr. Tiedemann’s expertise in both Lymphoma and Multiple Myeloma is a perfect fit for my complex case — it’s like he was made for me! I really appreciate how he partners with us as he designs a treatment plan.
Dr. Christine Cserti-Gazdewich. Transfusion Medicine Specialist/Clinical Hematologist. Toronto General Hospital. Superpower: Going above and beyond.
- Dr. Cserti is the kind of person everyone wants to have on their team. She goes above and beyond the call of duty and places patient welfare at the heart of her work. Last Thursday, when I was rushed to Emergency with a hemoglobin of 42 that was dropping every hour, she and her team worked tirelessly behind the scenes to find the right blood match. A daunting task. Quite simply, without her, the game would be over before it even began.
We all have superheroes in our lives. People who did little and big things to make our world a better place. Who are your superheroes and how will you recognize them today?
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