Greater Baltimore Medical Center
"I Put Up My Best Fight and Won"

Helen McCollum's Story


In 1992, I had a two-year-old son and was working in the Executive Office at GBMC. During a routine mammogram, a lump was found in my breast, which after biopsy, was determined to be malignant. I never gave a thought to anything other than putting up my best fight, but my biggest fear was “Who will take care of my family if I’m too sick from treatment?” It turned out that I tolerated the lumpectomy, chemo and radiation just fine with a minimum number of side effects and was able to get on with my life.

Twenty years later, almost to the day, another cancer was found in the same breast. At that point, it was determined the only option was a mastectomy. This time wasn’t so easy, and the surgery and reconstruction were long and very painful. I’m happy to say that – thanks to my surgeon, Dr. Frank Rotolo, my plastic surgeon, Dr. Gedge Rosson, my family, co-workers, and all the fabulous staff at GBMC that helped get me through this terrifying experience – I am healthy and active, and next May, my “two year-old son” is getting married. I plan to be there to shed some happy tears.

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