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Grateful patient

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A Grateful Patient Shows Her Appreciation to Radiation Oncology Staff

Brynn Bruijn-Hansen and her husband, Tom.

During her four weeks of radiation treatment for breast cancer at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, Brynn Bruijn-Hansen could count on the expertise, dedication and compassion of a team of doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians to help her through a challenging time.

Bruijn-Hansen was diagnosed with early-stage invasive ductal carcinoma in June 2016 and came to the Radiation Oncology Clinic following surgery to remove two grape-size tumors from her right breast. “At the start of treatment, I thought, ‘OK, I can handle this.’ I was optimistic. But as I got closer to the end of treatment, I was physically and emotionally tired,” Bruijn-Hansen says. “The staff were super-supportive and kept me going. They were a huge part of my treatment. They are my heroes.”

To show her appreciation, she brought a large cookie jar filled with healthy snacks to the clinic for staff members to enjoy. The snacks were a hit. When she returned the next day, the jar was empty. That’s when her husband Tom got the idea to do a fundraiser to keep the clinic well-stocked with snacks. They hosted a party that drew 75 friends and raised $2,500 to purchase enough granola bars, dark chocolate and other treats to keep two jars filled on a regular basis.

“It’s a nice little way of reminding them that they’re appreciated,” Bruijn-Hansen says. “They see patients as they’re being treated, but they don’t always see us again. They share in our struggle. They need to share in our joy too, which is why I’m going to keep coming back.”