OUR VIEW: Regional cancer center offers relief for a growing problem

When ground officially was broken for the construction of an $8.9 million regional cancer treatment facility in Reed City late in 2012, there was a sense of enthusiasm throughout the community that was well deserved.

Unfortunately, demand for cancer treatment options has increased over the past 20 years. More and more people from throughout Mecosta and Osceola counties are finding it necessary to undergo extensive treatments and continuing therapy – too often far removed from their home environment.

The Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center, already well under construction in Reed City, has been specifically designed to bring relief to a growing problem – to bring cancer diagnosis, education, treatment and follow-up closer to home for people living not only in the immediate area, but also for those within much of West Central and Northwest Michigan.

Working in tandem with Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer and Wellness Center at the Mecosta County Medical Center in Big Rapids, the two facilities will bridge any gap there may have been in the local fight against cancer, and will provide virtually a one-stop medical care experience that will be close to home for thousands of potential clients and patients.

The Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center will be a top shelf development, and already is becoming so. The digital Varian Truebeam linear accelerator will soon be turned on and put to use.

Planned state-of-the-art equipment and treatment options will thrust the Reed City facility to the front of the stage when the Center is completed, and it will be completed soon.

What we, all of us, need to do is keep the level of enthusiasm strong.

It is easy to get pumped up when a project first begins. Then, the well-drawn plans get tucked away; the work site gets sloppy and muddy; the weather gets cold ; and it becomes a little harder to envision the finished product.

Now is the time to renew our excitement and enthusiasm.

The project has an $8.9 million price tag. Of that sum, a commitment has been made to raise $2.4 million within the community.

To date, $1.67 million has been collected through the generous support of people who understand the importance of this healthcare expansion in the Mecosta-Osceola county region. Just more than $725,000 still needs to be raised.

We most sincerely suggest every person in our extended community search their hearts, check their pocketbooks and give generously as best they can to the Susan P. Wheatlake Regional Cancer Center.

If not $1,000, than $100.

If not $100, than $10.

We are a community. This is a community effort.

We can beat cancer, and we can make the fight more comfortable for those doing battle by bringing their treatment closer to home.

For more information, contact Development Director Christie Carlson at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital at (231) 832-7184.

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