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Southwest Airlines Community

The Hope-Providing Team

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“Never, never, never give up.”  This phrase, often quoted from Winston Churchill, is a motto I live by and a motto I tell every patient I meet. As the Director of the Institute for Cancer Care, Chief of Surgical Oncology and the Director of the Peritoneal Cancer Program at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, I meet peritoneal cancer patients every day who have been told that there is no hope for them. But, I believe, that until you’ve exhausted every information source possible, there is always hope. Mercy is able to offer peritoneal cancer patients hope for a better outcome through specialized surgery and the use of hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy, or HIPEC as it is more commonly known.  This treatment is not widely available, and the financial drain of the disease is often devastating to a family. Thankfully, with the travel support from Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program, many of our patients are able to secure the life-saving care they need  The look of relief on their faces when they find out the air travel assistance is available to them humbles us and reminds us every day that we don’t treat diseases, we care for people. Hope is such an integral part of a cancer patient’s recovery; it energizes spirits and strengthens recoveries.  Southwest may not be present in the operating or hospital rooms of our patients, but they are certainly part of the team which gives our patients hope. I see renewed hope in every patient I meet, and hope has a powerful effect on me and my team. Hope lifts us up and inspires us to “never, never, never give up.” To learn more about Mercy Medical Center’s involvement in Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grant Program, please visit the Baltimore Sun article.  Southwest is currently accepting applications from hospitals and medical transportation charities to participate in the 2014 program.  To join the more than 90 organizations nationwide, nonprofits can apply online by visiting now through September 30. sardi 2