Denise Reid and Novant Health combine to defeat cancer

Denise Reid, Cancer Survivor. (Ed Berti)
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Nurse, Megan McAvoy and Denise Reid. (Ed Berti)
Nurse, Megan McAvoy, and patient Denise Reid. (Ed Berti)
Jennifer Osley, and Denise Reid. (Ed Berti)
Mammography Tech lead, Jennifer Osley and Denise Reid. (Ed Berti)

We recently visited with Denise Reid while she was taking her final Chemo treatment at the Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center in her 8 month battle to beat breast cancer. She is now in remission and is expected to be able to enjoy her life going forward.

Denise, a 52 year old, is a pleasant and very determined woman who from the outset was going to survive and win this fight. However, she knew from the time she was diagnosed that she would need the support of her doctors and medical staff at the medical center.

There is some history with breast cancer in her family, her grandmother past away in 1982 from the disease at the age of 65. Being fully aware of the potential reality in her family, she was diligent about getting her mammograms since the age of 40. A true testament to why screening and early detection is so important for woman.

Denise was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of this year. Her first reaction was fear which is normal, why me since the disease skipped a generation. However, she accepted the news bravely, and decided she would do all possible to survive and maintain a positive mental attitude throughout the entire medical process.

She had a double mastectomy on March 26, 2019, healed quickly, and was back to work on April 25th. The importance of having a good health insurance plan took the burden of cost from her mind, so she could focus on getting herself healthy and cancer free.

Denise lives in Concord and travels approximately 30 minutes to the Mint Hill Medical Center, which was the most convenient hospital facility to her home. She had to change doctors because Novant Health accepted her insurance plan.

“Everything I need to do, I want it to be done at this hospital. Everybody is so kind and professional, it’s like you’re the only person who exists to them when you’re there,” said Denise.

Speaking to the family community atmosphere of the medical center, Denise has formed close relationships with her care team. She often brings them food and plans to visit even after her treatment is complete. In fact, she had several bags of food and goodies nicely wrapped for the care staff to enjoy on her last visit to the infusion center.

Denise mentioned her care team and praised them for their outstanding patient care. Especially her nurse, Megan McAvoy, and mammography technician lead, Jennifer Osley who have developed a close bond. She also, praised her doctors which include Dr. Walls, oncologist, Dr. Lillian Thomas-Harris, and Dr. Cara Criswell who were all wonderful.

Also, mentioned was Novant Health’s cancer support center, Buddy Kemp Caring House, and the Lift Strong program at the YMCA in Concord. They have both been helpful in her recovery, building up her self-esteem and strength.

Early detection and screening play an important role in having a positive outcome. Therefore, mammograms are recommended for women starting at the age of 40 or earlier if they’re at risk. Finding breast cancer early reduces your risk of dying from the disease by 25-30% or more. Also, if you have dense breasts or are under age 50, it would be best to get a digital mammogram.

Finally, Denise would like to thank her family and friends for their support. She further said, “I’m looking forward to living my life the best way I possibly can.”

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Ed Berti
Ed is retired and remains active as a freelance writer, local journalist and independent contractor. He is engaged in print and electronic media writing stories covering business, sports, hometown news and veteran's affairs including articles of interest to various media outlets. Ed is a graduate of Wagner College where he earned an MBA and holds a BBA from Pace University.
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