Written by on 6/3/2014 6:00:00 AM
Courtney Larson was performing a breast self-exam when she discovered a suspicious lump. Concerned, she followed up with her physician. A diagnostic mammogram was performed and revealed Larson had breast cancer.
"I went in on for my mammogram on a Thursday and was diagnosed with cancer that same day," said Larson.
Within a day of her diagnosis Larson had a dedicated cancer care team ready to help her fight her cancer.
"Following my diagnosis Dr. Erin Zusan, breast surgeon at Community Health Network, arranged a family meeting," said Larson. "My husband and family members were able to ask all of their questions up front and be on the same page prior to the start of my treatment. Dr. Zusan even left her own family during that time to come and comfort me in my time of need. That was the start of a great relationship."
By the time Larson left that first meeting she had all appointments scheduled and a comprehensive treatment plan outlined.
"I didn't have to make a single phone call to set up an appointment or worry about communicating between each of my doctors," said Larson. "Community took care of all of that. There was a clear plan of attack, and that was a huge relief."
Not only did Courtney have the support of Dr. Zusan, but a nurse navigator who accompanied her to every appointment to take notes, answer questions and provide advice.
"The first time I met Sharon (my nurse navigator) she walked into the room and said to me, 'We're going to be sisters and I'm going to get you through this'," said Larson.
And Larson got through it.
After surgery to remove her cancerous tumor, six rounds of chemotherapy and thirty rounds of radiation treatment, she was declared cancer-free. But her cancer journey did not end there.
"Cancer knows no boundaries; it doesn't care about your financial background or your family," said Larson. "I knew that my battle with cancer was ending, but someone was just beginning theirs. I had to do something and give to those who couldn't afford early detection or treatment."
With a husband in golf and passion to help others, a golf outing was born.
Larson said, "Organizing a golf outing was part of my healing process; it was how my family and I are able to give to others who don't have the means to battle their cancer."
Now in it's second year, Swinging Fore a Cause gives people the opportunity to raise awareness about early detection and funds to support cancer patients. Profits from the outing are given to Community Health Network Foundation, whose patient assistance fund provides mammograms, wigs, food and hope for Central Indiana cancer patients.
To register for the second annual Swinging Fore a Cause on June 13, or to make a donation, visit www.swingingforeacause.com.
"From one survivor to another, keep your eyes focused on God. He has placed many wonderful doctors, nurses, and staff at Community Health Network to walk beside you on this journey. Keep Fighting!" - Courtney Larson