Confidence in quality care leads to $20,000 donation to support cancer patients

After Ken and Sharon Snodgrass both received treatment for different cancers at Henry Ford Health, one word stood out to define their care experience: confidence. Confidence in each other, in their doctors and in the quality of the care they received at Henry Ford Cancer.

Ken was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999, receiving surgery at Henry Ford Hospital. A Ford Motor Company engineer, a recurrence in 2000 prompted his early retirement to focus on his health, battling cancer, an autoimmune disease and chronic kidney disease all at once. He credits his team of physicians — oncologist Sheela Tejwani M.D., rheumatologist Ayad Alkhatib M.D. and nephrologist Jyothsna Herek M.D. — for working together to get him through these simultaneous battles.

After retirement, Ken volunteered as a mentor for Detroit high school students, teaching robotics through various after school programs for over 20 years. Then, just as Ken was being treated for yet another recurrence of cancer in 2017, his wife Sharon was diagnosed with breast cancer. There was no doubt where the Snodgrass family would turn for care they trusted.

“We rave about the physicians at Henry Ford Health,” said Sharon. “Dr. David Nathanson was my surgeon, and Dr. Levin my radiologist. I had great confidence in them, as well as Dr. Tejwani, who now treats us both for follow up cancer care.” For Sharon, it came down to trust, not only in the quality of care but in the knowledge that her treatment would be developed with mindful consideration of her individual needs.

“We had a connection,” said Sharon. “Dr. Nathanson honored my wishes, and we agreed on a treatment plan together that was right for me.”

It was this level of personal care as they faced repeated battles with cancer that led the Snodgrass family to make a $20,000 gift to Game On Cancer, the premier fundraiser to support Henry Ford Health Cancer. Game On Cancer helps local patients and their families battling cancer through direct financial assistance, supportive programs and fueling cancer research at Henry Ford Health.

“When you are a cancer patient, you have a lot of responsibilities to manage. Some people, unfortunately, don’t have the financial means to access and take full advantage of what they deserve in terms of their care," shared Ken.

“We know how fortunate we are, and we want to provide the same opportunities to patients that might not have the same experience. We know firsthand the amazing medical care that is offered by Henry Ford — and we hope that our gift helps people to take full advantage it.”

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