Highlands Ranch cancer patient: ‘They are my guardian angels. They saved my life’

November 17th, 2020
Dr. Radhika Acharya, medical director of the UCHealth Cancer Center-Highlands Ranch and assistant professor of medicine at CU School of Medicine; UCHealth patient and cancer survivor Suzi McCumber; and Vicki Slat-Vasquez, a registered nurse at UCHealth Cancer Center-Highlands Ranch Infusion Center.
Dr. Radhika Acharya, medical director of the UCHealth Cancer Center-Highlands Ranch and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine; UCHealth patient and cancer survivor Suzi McCumber; and Vicki Slat-Vasquez, registered nurse at UCHealth Cancer Center-Highlands Ranch Infusion Center.

For 25 years, Suzi McCumber always made sure to get her annual mammography screening – every year, on schedule. This past February, she went for her routine screening, opted for the 3D mammogram, and got the biggest surprise of her life: breast cancer.

There was no family history and no indication that anything was wrong. She had a biopsy, and while the tumor was small, the cancer was aggressive.

McCumber was referred to Dr. Radhika Acharya at UCHealth Cancer Center-Highlands Ranch.  Without delay, just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit Colorado, Dr. Acharya immediately put together a treatment plan for McCumber, who received 12 weeks of chemotherapy followed by 19 rounds of radiation. She is doing great and continues to receive treatment to keep the cancer at bay.

“If you have ever doubted or ever wondered if you had a guardian angel, the answer is yes – and I’m living proof of that because everybody here who took care of me all the way from the beginning, all the way to where I am now, I felt like somebody has had my back,” McCumber said.

“They not only know how to treat the disease, but they know how to treat the patient. The care that you get here, the way that they approach it, is evident with everyone’s bedside manner. I think it’s incredible – because they would listen, and when I came in the next time, they were interested in my life, and they were engaged. They are my guardian angels. They saved my life.”

About the author

Paula Freund is the public relations manager for UCHealth and can be reached at 720.848.5809 or via email.