Colleagues step up to help Holy Cross Health doctor’s family fight stage 4 cancer

Colleagues of a Holy Cross Health doctor who has just been unexpectedly diagnosed with stage 4 cancer are stepping up to help her and her family with a GoFundMe page.

Dr Bonnie Yen with husband Scott, 8 year old son Xander, 6 year old daughter Riley and dog Chewie (Chewbacca).

Courtesy of Dr. Bonnie Yen

Dr Bonnie Yen.

Courtesy of Dr. Bonnie Yen

Dr. Bonnie Yen and her husband, Scott, at their wedding.

Courtesy of Dr. Bonnie Yen

Colleagues of a Holy Cross Health doctor who has just been unexpectedly diagnosed with stage 4 cancer are stepping up to help her and her family with a GoFundMe page.

Dr. Bonnie Yen, 39, is an emergency physician at Holy Cross Health in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has a type of squamous cell cancer that has spread throughout her body to various organs.

“The biggest challenge we have right now is to find the source, i.e. where the cancer started, and to get more information about the type of cancer to better tailor its treatments and understand the diagnosis. and the prognosis and the next step,” a friend said. Dr. Kavita Jackson, emergency physician at Holy Cross Health.

Yen received the diagnosis last week and is starting chemotherapy. She stopped working to focus on treatment and also to spend as much time as possible with her loved ones.

“With stage 4, we know it’s not usually a life-sustaining condition, and before we had the biopsy results based on her appearance, she had been about six months old. That’s the prognosis we have right now in the best of times,” Jackson said.

A colleague who calls Yen her “big sister” describes her as fun, outgoing, spontaneous and a hard worker.

“People just want to help Bonnie as much as they can because of what she’s done for the community – just what she’s done in the ER as well during the pandemic. She was like a beacon among the ER community and also our Holy Cross Hospital,” said DeAngelo Price, Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Emergency Medicine at Holy Cross Hospital.

By late Tuesday afternoon, 872 donors had raised $110,506.

Price said he finds it encouraging to see people rallying for the Yen during these times, which have included the pandemic, divisive politics and financial instability.

“It felt good to see people who really care about Bonnie stepping in when needed and when she needed it most because she would do the exact same thing for us,” Price said.

“For Bonnie, her biggest concern right now isn’t even herself and her medical treatments. It’s her husband, Scott, it’s (son) Xander, it’s (daughter) Riley and (pet) Chewie, and how they are going to carry on and sustain their lives when she is gone,” Jackson said.

Price has actively campaigned to raise awareness of Yen’s situation to garner support.

“Anything people can do can be donations; it can be prayers; and that may be all they can do to help. We would really appreciate her because she does so much for us in this community. And I feel like we need to do the same for her,” he said.

The donations will be used for all kinds of procedures, such as chemotherapy, doctor’s appointments, transportation to and from her appointments, and procedures in support of medical care for Yen, as well as her family.

“Her biggest concern as her main household earner is being able to support her husband and two young children as they grow. Not only in their personal life, but also in their social life, their education and having support for the family when they plan to be gone,” Jackson said.

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