Cancer. It’s a word people don’t want to utter once in their lifetimes. Let alone three times, for three different loved ones.
For Tracy Weintraub, it started over 20 years ago when her husband, Marc, was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 38. The word was mentioned again 10 years ago when her daughter, Zoe, had a colonoscopy that revealed a cancerous polyp at the age of 21. And again, a few years ago, when Tracy herself was diagnosed with breast cancer.
For each heart-breaking occurrence, notable-oncologist-turned-trusted-friend, Dr. Lloyd S. Nagasawa, M.D., was there. Tracy first came across Dr. Nagasawa during volunteer work at Mission Hospital, right around the time her young husband was diagnosed. She’d heard of the special bond Dr. Nagasawa had with his patients and was determined to get her husband in front of this man, despite reports Dr. Nagasawa’s practice was full.
Tracy called everyday for what seemed like weeks, assuring Dr. Nagasawa’s office she would not stop until she got her husband scheduled for a consultation. In the end, Tracy succeeded, and the rest is history.
Recounting their long road together, Tracy says Dr. Nagasawa’s compassion and commitment to the family has been nothing short of extraordinary.
“Dr. Nagasawa always knew where the latest trials were being conducted, always answered my questions on new research. He even alerted me to cancer conferences I would attend” said Tracy. “He truly went above and beyond.”
Tracy credits Dr. Nagasawa with saving her husband’s life, her daughter’s life, and now her own. “There are no words to express the heartfelt gratitude and admiration my family and I have for Dr. Nagasawa. He will continue to be in my daily prayers for the rest of my life,” said Tracy.
Dr. Nagasawa credits the bravery, character and love shared by the Weintraub family, “I continue to be impressed by the love between Tracy, Marc and Zoe, and how they always met the demands and rose to the occasion. Every diagnosis made them stronger, together, which unfortunately is not always the case. Getting to work with them professionally, and know them as people, has been one of the great joys of my career,” said Dr. Nagasawa.
Twenty years and three diagnoses later, Dr. Nagasawa and the Weintraub family continue to fight cancer together. This time, however, they fight to help future patients and families navigate the disease at the new Judi and Bill Leonard Institute for Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Wellness at Mission Hospital.
The Weintraub’s experience is what Orange County residents can expect from the Leonard Cancer Institute, led by director Dr. Nagasawa. The Leonard Cancer Institute opened in the fall of 2019 and offers a wide array of multi-disciplinary treatments, personalized to each patient’s specific tumor, cancer type and genetics, based on the latest research and evidence, defined by excellence, dignity and compassion.
To learn more, visit Mission4Health.com/cancer
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