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Dave Kline – Infusion Care

Show your support for cancer patients like Dave Kline during Riverwood Foundation’s 2021 Golf Charity Event July 16 at Minnesota National Golf Course in McGregor.

Dave Kline shares his cancer story:
I never imagined how cancer would change my life and the lives of those I love. I was diagnosed with stage 4 renal carcinoma, which had already spread from my kidneys to my bones.

There is no cure for my cancer. Despite multiple surgeries, including having a kidney removed and two spine operations, multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy, I still live with my cancer. Since my diagnosis, I’ve driven close to 4,000 miles across north and central Minnesota for treatment. I’m in my mid-60s and need a walker to get around.

My cancer diagnosis has brought so many hardships for me and my family, but one thing that has brought us hope through this difficult journey is my care team at Riverwood Healthcare Center. When I was first diagnosed, I felt alone, but once I started receiving care at Riverwood, they have coordinated the care I need.

My partner, Sheri Meier, will tell you, “They are our angels. They’ve been a blessing to us going through this.” From my oncologist Dr. Aby Phillip, MD, to nurse practitioner Jan Hegman — who helps coordinate my treatment — to each of the nurses, I feel like everyone prioritizes me and my care.

Over the last three years, I’ve received monthly infusions of a cancer-fighting drug in the Riverwood Infusion Department. Riverwood team makes getting this treatment a breeze.

The infusion department has five private patient bays with nice natural light. They always offer to bring me lunch, and there is space for Sheri or another loved one to sit with me. Along with cancer patients like me, the infusion department treats infections, autoimmune diseases and a variety of other conditions

Earlier this year, I was hospitalized with sepsis following a surgery in the Twin Cities. After several weeks in the hospital, I just wanted to come home. Riverwood coordinated daily antibiotic infusions. Every day for 8 weeks, including Saturdays and Sundays, they made sure I received the treatment I needed, which prevented me from having to enter an assisted living facility.

Needless to say, I know the infusion department very well, and every member of the staff has become like family.

One thing that isn’t ideal are the patient chairs currently available. After my spine surgeries, even sitting for 30 or so minutes is a challenge. I’m excited to say, Riverwood is prioritizing replacing these chairs with support from the community.

My infusions take less than an hour, but I know other patients receive treatments for six hours or more. That’s a long time to stay seated.

With heat, massage, footrests and convenient tables, the new reclining infusion chairs will go a long way to improving their experience. These chairs can also be sanitized between treatments, reducing the threat of infection for immune-compromised patients like me.

The new chairs will go a long way to bring comfort to me and so many others in our community. I think of the next person who hears the word “cancer” or needs treatment for another condition. I want them to have the best care.

Thanks to care at Riverwood, my cancer is under control. While it isn’t a cure, it means I have more time with Sheri, my love for more than 20 years, our children and grandchildren. I’m grateful for every moment I have with them.

Make a difference for patients like Dave

The Riverwood Foundation is teeing up the 2021 Golf Charity Event presented by Kraus-Anderson Construction Company, and this year, every dollar raised will support purchasing new chairs for the infusion department and providing additional support to cancer patients like Dave.

Join us July 16 at Minnesota National Golf Course in McGregor, Minnesota. For more information about tickets and sponsorships, contact Katie Nelson, Foundation Director, at knelson2@rwhealth.org or (218) 349-7250.


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