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Dubuque's Medical Associates Clinic Introduces Victory Bell to Cancer Patients

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DUBUQUE, Iowa — Cancer treatment can be a long and grueling fight, both physically and mentally. But one Medical Associates Clinic in Dubuque is introducing a new way to help motivate their patients.

Carrie Preston has spent the past 15 months fighting for her life, in a chair at Medical Associates

Preston said, “The hardest part was losing my eyelashes. Because that’s when I think you really look sick.”

To combat her diagnosis of stage two breast cancer, Preston underwent 20 weeks of chemo and 33 treatments of radiation. But all along, she’s had her eyes on a bell across the room.

“I have been so motivated just to finish up. So I am looking forward to it,” said Preston.

Each time a patient completes treatment, he or she rings the victory bell. It’s an idea at Medical Associates learned from a larger hospital.

Oncology Nurse Tammi Noonan, R.N. said, “You never know who’s going to react which way. Some people cry. Some people cheer. Some people bring in their whole entire family.”

Preston says ringing the bell is the right of passage that transforms her from a cancer patient, to a cancer survivor.

“I will be just enjoying life. Just appreciating life, family and friends. And our health,” said Preston.

l Comments: (563) 583-9999; katie.wiedemann@kcrg.com