Over the 30 years that I have represented mesothelioma clients, I have seen many advancements in the field of mesothelioma. The treatment and care of today’s patients is much more focused on the whole patient not just the disease. The International Mesothelioma Program (IMP) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston is one of the outstanding facilities that is in the forefront in its approach to treating the entire patient both physically and mentally. The IMP provides comforting support for patients in many different ways, from offering social workers’ guidance to organizing support groups to developing its “Patient Matching” program.
“Patient Matching” Program at the International Mesothelioma Program
The “Patient Matching” Program connects current patients at the IMP with mesothelioma patients who are about to undergo similar treatment and experiences. The program was designed to offer perspective and hope to patients who recently received a devastating diagnosis of mesothelioma. Receiving such a diagnosis can leave a person with many frightening questions. The “Patient Matching” program at the IMP is created to comfort patients through hearing information directly from someone who has been in their shoes.
I have seen the benefits of patient matching firsthand through the eyes of two of my clients who were connected through this program. One client was just finishing his treatment at the IMP and my other client had just received the debilitating diagnosis of mesothelioma and was at the IMP for his first treatment. They found a kinship and bond in sharing their stories and advice about their diseases. My client who was recently diagnosed was reassured by his new found friend’s encouragement and explanations of the treatment he received at the IMP.
Dr. David Sugarbaker, Founder, Director and Chief of Thoracic Surgery of the International Mesothelioma Program, understands the devastating emotional effects this disease has on patients and their families. Dr. Sugarbaker, explains ” Mesothelioma takes an emotional toll on patients and their families that cannot be underestimated; it can be nearly as significant as the disease itself.” The IMP has developed many programs including the “Patient Matching Program” to help deal with these emotional issues.
I firmly believe that a positive outlook and support can help one fight a devastating disease such as mesothelioma. A healthy mental state is just as important as a strong physical state. I have seen many of clients thrive due to emotional support they have received during their treatment. The Patient Matching Program at the IMP provides patients with great encouragement and much needed support. The IMP goes above and beyond to ensure every aspect of the mesothelioma patient is tended to.