Lung cancer screening and diagnosis inspires gift

Connie Putney credits Swedish Covenant Hospital with saving her life.

As a long-time member of Galter LifeCenter, Connie learned of a new donor-funded lung cancer screening program at Swedish Covenant Hospital through the Galter LifeCenter’s eNewsletter. The screening is offered to high-risk individuals for the cost of a pack of cigarettes or the equivalent $10.

Connie smoked for more than 45 years and took this promotion as a sign that she should get screened.

She made the call to see if she qualified for the program and scheduled the scan for a time she would already be at the LifeCenter to swim laps.

Connie was expecting to hear back that everything was fine, but was shocked to find out that she had early stage lung cancer.

“I had zero symptoms of anything. I swim, I dance, I travel; there’s nothing I can’t do,” Connie said. “But, bingo, I had tumors in my lower left lobe and the scan picked them up.”

Following her surgery, Connie is doing extremely well. So well, in fact that when she was recently in London, she climbed to the top of Greenwich so she could stand with one foot in each hemisphere.

The screenings are offered at a low cost, thanks to a planned gift from grateful patients. Connie is so thankful for the test that she credits with saving her life that she has made a generous donation to support cancer services at Swedish Covenant Hospital. It is her way of paying it forward and helping others access the screening.

Now she feels strongly about and advocates for early testing.

“I am committed to getting the message out. I have to restrain myself from going up to people standing outside smoking and telling them ‘please get yourself tested’,” Connie said.

To learn more about the Grateful Patient Program at Swedish Covenant Hospital click here, or contact the Foundation at (773) 293-5121 or Foundation@swedishcovenant.org.

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