In 1960, a young doctor named Haskell Weinstein, M.D., started work at City of Hope.
“He was a specialist in what were called ‘diseases of the chest,’” his widow, Sara, recalls. “My husband was hired to run the chest hospital. That’s what they called it then,” she says.
After four years, Dr. Weinstein departed City of Hope to go into private practice. “But he left a good team,” Sara says with pride. “He was always good at bringing in great talent and important grants.
|Sara’s relationship with City of Hope has lasted decades, thanks to generous partners like you.|
“And he was always happy to come back to City of Hope for consulting and to see his old team.”
Fast-forward to April 2007. Dr. Weinstein died almost 20 years earlier, but Sara continues to support City of Hope as a donor. Her daughter, a nurse-anesthetist, also worked at City of Hope for a few years.
So when a routine chest X-ray revealed 87-year-old Sara not only had emphysema, but also a small cancerous tumor on her lung, it just seemed right to return to City of Hope.
“Living in the mountains above Las Vegas, I didn’t have any symptoms of emphysema,” Sara says with a chuckle. “No pain, no coughing ... I didn’t even realize I was short of breath!”
Sara’s doctors wanted to perform a minimally invasive procedure to remove her cancer. But they couldn’t find any surgeons in Nevada qualified to operate the robotic equipment needed.
And that’s how, four decades after Dr. Haskell Weinstein ran City of Hope’s chest hospital, our current head of pulmonary medicine performed a lifesaving procedure on his widow.
Although she’s nearly 90, Sara’s overall good health allowed her to meet all the criteria for receiving brachytherapy, a new method of radiation treatment that places sealed radioactive sources, called “seeds,” close to a cancerous tumor.
“I was out of the hospital 10 days later and was walking very soon,” Sara says. “I have no scar, still have my hair ... it’s like nothing happened!
“I never had any anxiety about receiving surgery at City of Hope,” she continues. “They have always been the authority. I trusted them totally.
“Everyone loves to talk about themselves,” Sara says. “I love to talk about City of Hope and what I call my ‘imaginary surgery.’ I am an old woman, but City of Hope gave me something new. They fixed me up, and I feel like a young woman again.”