Hello, my name is Rosemary Marko, and I am a 52-year cancer survivor. My cancer diagnosis was a rare form of Uterine Cancer detected in October of 1971. I was 24 years old and had a one-year-old son. After being diagnosed with cancer, my doctor informed me that I would have to undergo chemotherapy treatments. My treatments were given to me in the hospital once every other week, for five days straight, for five months. It was determined that I needed a stronger dose of chemotherapy that would require me to travel to Bethesda Hospital in Washington, D.C. The other treatment option was a partial hysterectomy which was very scary at only 24. I opted for the surgery, which was a success, and I was cleared of all cancer. I am cancer free to this day! Fifty years ago was an entirely different time for cancer treatments. I am grateful for the care I received and that I am here to tell my story.
Why Yellow Brick Place? I learned about Yellow Brick Place from a news story I heard several years ago on WKBN’s 5:00 AM news show. The organization’s co-founder’s name was Donna Detwiler. During her interview, she talked about the new organization and its purpose to provide a caring and hopeful environment for cancer patients, families, and their caregivers.
After I watched the news report, I was intrigued by it and very interested in learning more about it. Fifty-two years ago, when I was suffering from cancer, there were no such places like Yellow Brick Place for cancer patients to go to for comfort. I decided then to find out where this place was and visit it to see if it would be something I would be interested in getting involved with. I had the opportunity to meet and talk with the founder, Donna. I explained who I was and that I am a cancer survivor. At that time, I was told by Donna that she is a cancer patient, and her cancer was in remission. We talked for a while, and I explained to her what my cancer was and how rare it was then and even now.
I still attend the programs and events held by Yellow Brick Place Cancer Wellness Center. The camaraderie of others that have been through similar experiences eases a bit of the fear. I encourage anyone that has received a cancer diagnosis to contact Yellow Brick Place at 234-228-9550 or on their website at yellowbrickplace.org. Everything they offer is non-medical and FREE, including beautiful wigs if you have lost your hair.
Thank you for allowing me to tell my story, and I pray for all cancer patients, whether they are being treated now, in remission, or are cured.