A generous gift makes cancer care easier in Kenosha and Racine

Getting blood work done or having intravenous (IV) drug therapy isn’t always an easy process, especially for cancer patients. But a generous gift from the 2016 Infinity Ball will help make that process more comfortable for some.

From left to right: Paul and Beatrice Sebastian with Mary and James Santarelli, MD, at the 2016 Infinity Ball.

Patients may be weak or dehydrated from their condition and treatment, making their veins difficult to find. Nurses at Aurora Cancer Care Centers work diligently to locate a vein, but in some instances, may have to stick the patient three or four times before getting a needle into place. This can make an already challenging time even more painful. And if a nurse isn’t able to find a vein after multiple attempts, the patient is often sent home with instructions to hydrate and come back the next day, which can be time-consuming and inconvenient.

Thanks to a family from Kenosha, this no longer needs to be the case. Paul and Beatrice Sebastian generously donated $10,000 at the 2016 Infinity Ball to help fund an AccuVein® device, which uses infrared technology to show clinicians a map of a patient’s veins.

“I know enough people who have had cancer treatment to know that finding veins can be difficult,” explained Paul, whose son-in-law, James Santarelli, MD, is a family medicine provider at the Aurora Health Center in Kenosha. “I also know and trust the people who will be using the technology.”

In addition to the Sebastians’ generous gift, more than $12,000 was raised at the event, and now both the Aurora Cancer Care Centers in Kenosha and Racine have the devices.

“It sure worked well when the nurses needed it for me,” said Doris Magwitz, a cancer patient in Kenosha. “They tried twice, but couldn’t get any flow. That’s when they brought out the vein finder and it worked right away.”

Nurses and other clinicians are also happy with the new equipment.

“I have used the AccuVein® numerous times on patients who are challenging IV starts with great success,” said Patricia Laken, RN, at Aurora Cancer Care in Kenosha. “On all these patients I was able to start an IV on the first attempt, which greatly impacts patient satisfaction and reduces wasted nursing time on numerous IV attempts.”

This is just one example of the generosity of the Sebastian family and how donor dollars are helping to improve patient care. In 2015, the Sebastians also gave a gift to purchase equipment for the Cardiac Rehab department at Aurora Medical Center in Kenosha.

“I had therapy there,” said Paul. “I like to donate to causes I’m familiar with and that I know will be good for patients.”

We are extremely grateful to the Sebastians and other attendees of the 2016 Infinity Ball who are making life a little easier for our family members, friends and loved ones battling cancer. This year’s Infinity Ball will be held Saturday, October 14.

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