Main content

    Kathleen's story of beating breast cancer

    “I was born with a song in my heart, and I’ve tried to share that with others my whole life,” says 61-year-old Kathleen Hailey of Ceres. But two years ago, an unexpected diagnosis threatened her positive, happy outlook.

    Kathleen’s full and active life—which includes teaching performing arts to middle schoolers, riding motorcycles and sailing—took a sudden detour after a routine mammogram showed abnormal results. Given her history of good health, she wasn’t especially concerned, but a second mammogram and a subsequent biopsy confirmed the worst: Kathleen had breast cancer.

    Feeling shocked, desperate and resigned, Kathleen drove directly to the office of her long-time primary care physician Jean-Pierre Canabou, M.D., a family medicine doctor with Sutter Gould Medical Foundation. “I usually face things head on,” she says, “but I didn’t know how to handle cancer.”

    The hugs and reassurance Kathleen received at Dr. Canabou’s office were just what she needed. “They told me, ‘It’s going to be okay. We’ll see you through this,’” she recalls. “I went home telling myself, ‘This is not the way you’re going out, old girl.’”

    That renewed optimism stayed with Kathleen throughout her surgery and treatment at Memorial Medical Center. And her connection with Elise Fredeking, cancer research coordinator at Sutter Gould, especially buoyed Kathleen’s spirits. “I don’t know how I would have made it through if I hadn’t had my chemo angel, Elise. She was with me every time I had a treatment.”

    Kathleen adds, “I can’t imagine having better care than I received from Sutter Gould and Memorial Medical Center. I had people right here in my community who took marvelous care of me.”

    “My name is Kathleen Hailey, and that’s my story.”