01 Oct Olympic Medical Cancer Center’s patient navigation helps Neah Bay resident get needed medication
“Having this amazing cancer care team has really meant life to me.”
Bob Buckingham and his wife, Betsy, started running a food truck after retirement – Bob retiring from the Port of Neah Bay where he was the director and his wife from the Sophie Trettevick Indian Health Center. But, about two years ago, when he struggled to keep up with the food truck operation, he knew it was time for a visit to his primary care provider.
“I was getting kind of run down and we had to shut [the food truck] down because I really couldn’t keep up with my wife working on it,” Bob says.
Bob had not been to the doctor in about five years, and he made the two-hour trip from Neah Bay to his primary care provider in Sequim, where blood work revealed that he had chronic myeloid leukemia.
“It was a bit of a surprise,” he says.
His doctor referred him to Olympic Medical Cancer Center in Sequim.
“I am truly thankful for all that they’ve done and all that they continue to do,” Bob says of the cancer center team.
At first, Bob’s treatment required the journey from Neah Bay to Sequim about every two weeks, before eventually being reduced to every month and now, every three months.
The Patient Navigation team at Olympic Medical Cancer Center has worked with Bob to apply for funding to cover most of the expenses for his medication.
“If it weren’t for the team at the Cancer Center, I don’t think we could have started my medication therapy due to the high cost,” Buckingham says.
“They are so dedicated to their patients.” – Bob Buckingham
The Patient Navigator program is designed to provide services and resources to help guide patients through the health care system so they can focus on treatment and well-being. Thanks to the generous support of the OMC Foundation, these resources include financial assistance, lodging and transportation assistance, social work, disease and treatment reference materials, community support, respite housing, additional health care support and more.
“This has made all the positive difference in the world for my family and I. Having cancer is one thing, but having this amazing cancer care team has really meant life to me,” Bob says. “I wasn’t sure what we were going to do at that point in time. When I found out the cost of the medication needed, I didn’t think I could meet those costs. We were so relieved when the cancer care team helped apply for alternate resources to help with this financial burden.”
As his treatment progresses, Buckingham feels supported by Olympic Medical Cancer Center.
“The cancer care center has made this journey much more tolerable. It is heartwarming to witness every team member treat me so well every step of the way,” he said.