Lisa Walden // Charity Care
Lisa Walden moved to Richmond from Washington to pursue a Master of Divinity degree at Earlham. She had been a teacher and librarian as well as serving as a chaplain for the local juvenile detention center prior to her move. She loved working with middle school and at-risk kids.
When Lisa arrived in Richmond, her calling was deep. She had been through so much. In 2007, she was diagnosed with Castleman’s Disease, with a benign tumor near her trachea. Because it was not large, it was not treated. In 2008, Lisa discovered she had ovarian cancer, and in 2009, stage one breast cancer. She was ready to move forward and help others.
During a two-year timeframe, Lisa’s trouble with exhaustion expanded into memory issues. She was having difficulty processing her class material, but didn’t know why. Then, Lisa saw Reid’s ad for heart and lung scans. She knew this was a great screening, and decided to schedule one.
When she received the results, she was startled. She knew she had a tumor from her previous diagnosis, but it had grown to the size of a fist. “The doctor called it huge,” Lisa said. “I had no insurance, and I didn’t know what I would do.” The staff directed her to Reid’s patient financial services where she explained her financial situation.
“Kathy Shaw was marvelous!” Lisa said. “I didn’t think about the hospital having a charity program. I had never needed help.” Fortunately, Lisa qualified for financial assistance, and she was able to pursue treatment.
“Your financial support gives me the hope that at some point in the near future, I might have the energy and mind to return to chaplaincy,” she said. “You have offered me such dignity at every turn.”
After surgery by Dr. John Kuhn, Lisa followed up with neurologist Dr. James Burkhart. He had been “studying up” on Castleman’s Disease, and referred Lisa to Dr. Candice Flaugher who specializes in Rheumatology.
“I went to Dr. Flaugher’s office and asked if they deal with Castleman’s,” said Lisa expecting they would not. “I cried when they told me they did.” She had been looking for someone who understood the disease and could provide insight and care.
“Thank you for giving me another chance at life,” Lisa said. “Thank you for trusting that your investment in the unknown poor might make a difference in this world.”
Each year, many people like Lisa enter walk through our doors in need of care, frightened knowing they cannot afford it. Your donation to the Charity Care fund helps provide necessary treatment for those in need.