Greater Baltimore Medical Center
"I've Lived a Dream"

Helen Anderson's Story


My GBMC story begins in 1993 when I had a hysterectomy after delivering my fourth child and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was not recovering well after both, and my general practitioner diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome.

For two years, I began each day exhausted and searched tirelessly for health answers. This led me, finally, to Dr. Gary Cohen, an oncologist and hematologist at GBMC. Within weeks, through surgery (a spleenectomy) and many scans, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The battle began with an aggressive chemotherapy plan, and then a new procedure at Johns Hopkins University called a bone marrow transplant. After a three-month admission for the procedure, I returned to Dr. Cohen and a wonderful seventeen years of remission followed.

In 2010, I began to have eye problems which finally led to the diagnosis of orbital non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Again, Dr. Cohen had a wellness plan for me to return to my life through more chemotherapy and Rituxan maintenance. Thanks to his guidance, I am once again in remission.

The wonderful care that I have received through the GBMC Cancer Center staff has been stellar and has helped me so much through this journey. The burden of a cancer patient’s fight is lightened by the caring infusion staff and support of social workers such as Michele Better. Dr. Gary Cohen is such a wonderful, intelligent, caring doctor. My fight has been a long, difficult one, but, with God and GBMC, it has been rewarding. I am grateful, inspired, blessed and loved today because of GBMC.

Because of GBMC, I have so many examples of things I have been able to do through the last 24 years. The most remarkable experience is that I got to raise four little children God blessed me with, and I got to see them to adulthood – something that seemed, all those years ago, like an unattainable dream. I also continued my daycare business and helped to lovingly raise 42 children who have passed through Helen's Helping Hands Daycare. I have experienced the most rewarding blessing of two beautiful grandchildren and have given back to my community by working with my Recreation Council to create children's programs and raise funds. I have been able to continue my love affair with my husband of 38 years, and have truly lived the dream we once promised before God: to love, honor and cherish each other.

So, from a grateful and accomplished cancer survivor, warrior and overcomer, congratulations to GBMC on its 50th Anniversary!

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