Three co-workers in the breast cancer clinic at IU Health North share a bond

All three are breast cancer survivors
Posted at 4:17 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 20:20:21-04

HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. -- Three employees at IU Health North in Carmel not only share the same employer, but they share something else in common.

Radiologist, Dr. Barbara Savader; oncology social worker, Jill Dodson; and breast heath coordinator and nurse navigator, Charlotte Howard: all work in the breast cancer clinic and all are breast cancer survivors.

"Fighting for ourselves and for each other,” as they say.

Howard was actually a patient of Dr. Savader’s. After her treatment, she transferred from surgical services to the clinic.

"I was working in surgery and I just came from my mammogram and Barb diagnosed me,” said Howard. “And then after that, I started thinking, I want to work there."

Now, they have worked side by side for nearly a decade.

"We are our own little support group but we can also provide that support to our patients,” said Howard.

They use this bond, this friendship, to inspire and help others through the process.

"That gives them so much hope when they look at you,” says Dr. Savader. “Char and I look at these patients together and say we've been there, and then they'll go, really?"

But their strength is being challenged once again, as one of the members of what they call the club nobody wants to join has cancer for the second time.

"I was just about to celebrate my 10-year anniversary and I found a lump just a few weeks ago and sure enough it's cancer again,” said Howard.

"Once you find out, you go through a period of disbelief and anxiety, fear,” she continues. “Then you just start accepting things. But I think one of the key things of accepting and getting past that here is finding other people."

They will continue fighting the fight for themselves and for their patients, helping the one in eight women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.

“I just have so much hope and I think we’re going to figure out this cancer thing at some point,” says Dodson.

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