Help was there when she needed it most

Married with three children, 41-year-old Becki Anderson was busy keeping up with everyday life last summer when she noticed a lump in her breast. Instead of ignoring the lump, she made an appointment to consult with Dr. Rita Wolfe, her primary care physician at Fairview Clinics - Lakeville.
Following her exam, Becki was quickly referred to the Fairview Ridges Breast Center for a mammogram and ultrasound. The tests confirmed her worst fear – it was breast cancer.

Since that time, Becki has undergone a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation treatments, all on the Fairview campus in Burnsville. Becki appreciates the convenience of having all of her appointments near her home – or “one-stop shopping,” as she calls it – thanks to the number and convenience of facilities in the Fairview system.

One of the bright spots during this challenging experience has been the presence and support of breast care navigator Tonya Larson. Larson, who is based at the Fairview Ridges Breast Center, serves as a patient resource during tests, treatment and recovery. “Tonya has truly been there every step of the way for me, and that means a lot,” Becki said. “Her positive attitude has been fantastic. She has been in my corner.”

One of Becki’s other key supporters during this experience has been her father, Mike, who has accompanied her to each appointment.

Mike’s impression of his daughter’s care has been positive, especially when it comes to what Tonya has done for Becki. “While doctors, surgeons and clinicians have been great,” Mike said. “Tonya represented the critical personal side of Becki’s cancer care, rather than simply offering clinical details about her condition.”

“Tonya took her down what is a very scary road and stayed with her,” Mike said. “She didn’t take Becki to the brink of something new and pass her off to someone else. That has meant a lot to us.”

Now one year after her diagnosis, Becki remains optimistic about her recovery, noting that she appreciates the way Fairview lets her schedule treatment so she can still spend precious quality time with her family.

And, she has clearly kept her priorities straight during the process. “I’m going through this so I can be there for my kids’ birthdays,” she said with a smile.
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