Patient Story: Emily

About 10 years ago, Emily was on a ski trip and took a hard fall right on her abdomen that happened to hit a mole. She didn’t think much of it at the time but soon began to feel pain around her mole.

A few days later she noticed the skin around the mole changing color, from purple to blue to black. 

“Maybe I should get it looked at,” she thought to herself. 

But Emily didn’t have health insurance at the time and had just started her own business. 

Despite the high cost, she scraped together resources to visit a dermatologist; Larry Webber PA-C from Bend Dermatology. After examining her abdomen, he told her that her mole had become cancerous and she would need to get surgery right away. 

“How am I ever going to afford this,” she asked herself. 

Mr. Webber told Emily about Volunteers in Medicine. He told her he would call them to see if VIM could help to find a provider who might be able to perform the surgery for her. 

VIM took over to help ensure Emily got the care she needed, and within two weeks VIM had found a surgeon through the unparalleled network of pro-bono specialists: Dr. Andrew Jones. 

Dr. Andrew Jones performed the surgery and removed the cancerous cells before they were able to spread.  

“I am incredibly lucky,” Emily reflected. 

Emily still lives in Bend and has her own business as a book designer/self-publishing coach. 

She remains a very active and healthy person pursuing all her favorite sports including hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding and, yes, she still skis!