Dr Albert Amini and his patient Rebecca, a cancer survivor
Rebecca Schock: I'd just given birth to my daughter and I was having severe upper abdomen pain. So they did an ultrasound on it. They had two enormous tumors on my liver. The general surgeon said, "We're not quite sure what's going on here." And referred us over to Dr. Amini.
Dr. Amini: When Becca came to me she was 32 years old and she came in with a two week old daughter, and she had a two year old son at home. It just kind of really dawned on me that this could literally be my wife Diane, and how would I talk to my wife and how would I talk to her family? I think that was part of the reason why we formed such a bond through all of this. It just hit so close to home.
Rebecca Schock: The minute we walked in we knew, no matter what, that we were in the right place. I say that with just absolute certainty. I know that that's where we were meant to be without a doubt in my mind. He went through diagnostic testing and eventually was able to diagnose me with stage four metastatic colon cancer that had spread from my colon to my liver, and then within some of my lymph nodes as well.
Dr. Amini: The surgery wasn't the easiest surgery in the world; it was seven hours. She spent seven, eight days in the hospital. The entire time she was like, "I can do this. I've got my kids at home. I've got my husband at home. I want to fight through this." Even in the year after that, she's still maintaining a positive spirit, and she knows, "Hey, I've got to go to my checkups every three months, but in the meantime I'm going to go to work, I'm going to go hike, I'm going to go spend time with my family, I'm going to go on vacation." That aspect of it I think really helped her through her recovery.
Rebecca Schock: I am so thankful that I had him by side and that I had my community and my family and my faith, all of those contributing factors to help me stay positive throughout the fight, and to be a survivor here today sitting in front of you guys telling my story.
Dr. Amini: What I think is so cool is that at Dignity East Valley what I'm able to do I'm able to do through the help of the foundation and through the help of the hospital. Even though I focus on my surgery and focus on being the quarterback, I need all these other pieces around me, and that's what they're able to provide. They're able to provide funding for the research, for pushing the needle on medical oncology, for pushing the needle with radiation oncology, for creating tumor boards. All of this is what you need to treat Becca and the future Beccas of the world. I don't think I could have done it without that support.
Rebecca Schock: Ultimately, I don't think another surgeon would have taken a chance on me like he did. So I really do owe my life to him.