Impacting Communities Around Her as a Patient and Nurse

Published on: 
Extraordinary Healer®, Extraordinary Healer® Vol. 15, Volume 15,

A doctor describes a nurse that he recruited for his own practice while she was receiving treatment for breast cancer.

I am nominating Lily Apfel, LVN, for the Extraordinary Healer® Award. I came to know Lily in 2015 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35. She was a LVN working at our gastroenterology clinic. She was under my care and received comprehensive treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. During the treatment, she showed great strength and handled the tough ordeals gracefully. Our staff loved her.

Half a year later, at one of her follow-up appointments, I recruited her, and she was extremely excited and has joined us since. For the ensuing years, she has taken important roles. I am a solo provider for this community, so our staff often take multiple roles to meet the complexity of oncology care. She is our liaison and go-to person on oncology-specialty oral drugs. She is our head person on genetic testing. She handles our tumor board logistics.

There are also other attributes that make her unique. She is a great patient advocate, especially for uninsured Hispanics in our community. Lily is fluent in Spanish, and she is almost the only person these patients depend on to get their oncology care coordinated and drugs covered. She would go beyond for those patients. Lily is also very active in her own community, which is different from where she is working. It is not uncommon to hear that she does house hospice visits.

Please consider her for this Extraordinary Healer® Award. Our clinic and community are very fortunate to have her.

Editor’s Note: This is an essay submitted by Dr. Hengbing Wang for the 2021 Extraordinary Healer Award. Click here to read more about CURE®’s Extraordinary Healer® Award for Oncology Nursing event on April 30, 2021.

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