Greater Baltimore Medical Center
"Surviving Cancer Changed My Life"

Marge Neal's Story


My GBMC story dates back to 1991 when I was 34 years old. I had gone to my internist with some concerns about some lumps I was able to feel in my throat. She agreed the lumps were worthy of concern and sent me to James Mersey, MD, for a biopsy. He scheduled me for an ultrasound, and a biopsy would be based upon the results of the ultrasound.

Dr. Mersey performed the needle biopsy, which resulted in a diagnosis of thyroid cancer (it was called papillary carcinoma). He referred me to Karl Diehn, MD, a well-respected ear, nose and throat specialist at GBMC.

My stress and worries were put to rest in my initial appointment with Dr. Diehn. He was kind, compassionate and communicative. He answered all of my questions and made me very comfortable with choosing him to perform my thyroidectomy.

I had the surgery and follow-up treatment at GBMC. Throughout the many post-operative appointments, Dr. Diehn was kind, gentle and again communicative, answering all of my questions and addressing my fears resulting from a cancer diagnosis as a younger adult. I was impressed with all of the staff during my stay at GBMC, and have the best possible memories of a traumatic event in my life.

Thyroid cancer is a very slow growing cancer and I always felt confident that surgery would take care of the problem. However, the scare made me do some introspective soul searching, and I changed my career several years later to pursue journalism, a first love that I had put on a back burner earlier in my life. I believe I have accomplished a lot with my writing over the past fifteen years, from informing residents of the many good things going on in their community to shedding light on questionable government and business practices. Without facing cancer at a young age, I might have been willing to tread water and remain in an unfulfilling job. Thank you, GBMC, for helping me get back on track.

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