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“I cannot think of one negative moment.”

In December of 2007, Ken Towle, 75, formerly a truck driver and now retired, needed back surgery. During his procedure at UMass Memorial Hospital, the staff took blood samples to run some tests. When they saw that his platelet count was low, they ran more tests and discovered that Ken has Chronic Myelomonocytic Leukemia (CMML). CMML is a type of cancer that starts in blood-forming cells of the bone marrow and invades the blood.

After receiving his diagnosis, Ken started his platelet infusions with Dr. Shakeeb Yunus at UMass in January 2008. During that time, he received infusions every three months, though the drive to receive his treatment at UMass was 30 minutes from his house in Charlton, Mass.

“Then I found out that Dr. Yunus also practiced at the Harrington Cancer Center in Southbridge. I was thrilled to transfer my treatment there since it was so much closer to home,” he says. “Another plus is that the wait time is never that bad. I’ve been to places where you wait forever. Here, the majority of the time I’m only waiting 15 minutes max.”

Being closer to home became even more important to Ken when his treatment plan changed. Shortly after starting chemotherapy, he began a new course of platelet infusions: instead of every three months, he had to go once a week.

“I’ve had weekly treatments for the past three years. Then they switched me to these specialized platelets,” he says.  Fortunately, Ken is responding well to the new treatment.

“Throughout my experience, the staff at Harrington has been there for me 100 percent.

“It’s like family. When I go there, it’s a very comfortable feeling.”

Over the years, Ken has been attended to by many different nurses, including Heather Staniszewski, Gerry Silva, Stacey Delacruz, and Rose Benvenuti. And now, Ken will start seeing Dr. Christopher Seidler.

“I found all the staff at Harrington to be excellent and very knowledgeable. Every question I’ve asked they’ve answered right away,” he says.

“Overall, my experience has been very positive. I cannot think of one negative moment.”

Ken Towle


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