When Felicia Todd went to her doctor about intestinal problems, she never expected to learn that she had stage 4 cancer. After a series of tests, she got the news. “I was very prideful about my health so when they told me it was cancer, I said, ‘not me … I wouldn’t have cancer’,” Todd said.
After having surgery at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center in Corvallis, Todd, a Newport resident, chose to have her chemotherapy treatments locally.
“I didn’t want to make the commute to Corvallis to do my treatment. When you don’t know what the outcome will be, it is important to enjoy the time you have with your family,” she said. “Having treatment here in Newport meant I could have my life. I’d have my treatment and be done by the time my kids were home from school.”
Todd shared her story on video at the 22nd annual Festival of Trees, a recent fundraiser gala sponsored by the Pacific Communities Health District Foundation. Through the sale of decorated Christmas trees and a live auction, the yearly gala raises money for medical equipment and needed services at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital. This year, the festival raised a record amount of $87,000, which will be used to enhance oncology (cancer) services at the hospital, now and in the new facility when it is completed in 2018.
“We are delighted with the generous support of our community to help support our nonprofit hospital through this annual event,” said Ursula Marinelli, who serves as coastal director with the foundation. “Our oncology team provides vital services to so many throughout our community, people like Felicia Todd, who don’t want to leave their community for treatment. This money will help us provide needed equipment and services to enhance their care right here at home.”
For Todd, who is a cancer survivor, she says that she appreciates life as fully as possible now. “Being a cancer survivor feels like a gift,” she said. “Throughout my treatment, I really experienced the goodness in people and really felt the benefit of having services here.”
To learn more about the work of the Pacific Communities Health District Foundation, visit samhealth.org/PCHDF, or call 541-574-4745.