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Botsford News Release


Cancer Support Group Makes a Difference for Botsford Patient

Farmington Hills, Mich. (August 16, 2010)---On January 1, 2009, Ron Lehmann of Westland was enjoying his first day of retirement from the Department of Defense. He didn’t realize that less than four months later he would hear the words, ‘you have cancer.’ 
“I thought I just had sleep apnea,” said Lehmann. “I had start snoring and gasping for air in the middle of the night. Then I noticed that my throat was all swollen and completely shut when I woke up. I went to the doctor thinking it was tonsillitis and soon learned I had stage 4 tonsil cancer.” 
Lehmann was in denial for much of his aggressive treatment that included chemotherapy and 37 radiation treatments. During his treatment and as he continues on his life’s journey, he has been lucky to have a strong support system that includes his wife, two children, three grandchildren and a multitude of friends and other family members. During his treatment, Lehmann had a different person bring him to the Botsford Cancer Center each day. Lehmann says, “My friends and family would fight about taking me. Everyone wanted a chance to be there for me.” 
Jeri Davis, Botsford Cancer Center’s Social Worker, says, “Not everyone has that kind of support. Some people have no one and that’s where I help. I assist patients with transportation needs and help with other concerns the patients may have. We also work with Gilda’s Club to offer support programs for our patients.” 
Lehmann is one of the patients that has benefited from the weekly Gilda’s Club wellness group that meets at Botsford. “I didn’t want to join the group, but after some convincing from the staff at the Cancer Center, I decided to go and am thrilled that I did. The group is like my family. We talk about everything from personal issues to cancer to family.” 
This summer, the group has been going out for ice cream after each weekly session. At one of the recent meetings, one of the attendees said ‘No one knows that we are suffering from cancer.’ This had the group laughing. Lehmann says, “There is lots of laughter and crying. It’s important for us to remember that we are still human and we need to keep living.” 
“The wellness group really does make a difference. It helps put everything in perspective. Last Tuesday I was really upset and after going to group and talking it out, I realized it wasn’t worth being so mad about. On my way home, I turned up the radio and felt great. I realized that it was nothing compared to what I’ve been through and I can get through anything.”

Beaumont Health is Michigan's largest health care system, based on inpatient admissions and net patient revenue. A not-for-profit organization, it was formed in 2014 by Beaumont Health System, Botsford Health Care and Oakwood Healthcare to provide patients with the benefit of greater access to extraordinary, compassionate care, no matter where they live in Southeast Michigan. Beaumont Health consists of eight hospitals with 3,337 beds, 168 outpatient sites, nearly 5,000 physicians and 35,000 employees and about 3,500 volunteers. In 2015, the organization had $4.1 billion in net revenue with 177,934 inpatient admissions, 17,151 births and 530,860 emergency visits. For more information, visit, twitter, facebook, blog

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