Joanne's "A-Team" Gave Her Hope

       Shane, Peyton Maria, Shane Joshua and Joanne Bertsch. 


Family is everything to Joanne Bertsch. As a wife and mother of two, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013, she was concerned not only for her health, but for her family’s well-being, too. Bertsch had many questions  and much anxiety. But she had hope, too. Bertsch’s “A-Team of doctors and nurses,” as she likes to call them, helped her get to where she is today—cancer-free.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, please consider supporting NorthShore with a tax-deductible gift. Your generosity will ensure that patients have access to the latest advances in breast cancer research and receive compassionate care that’s as unique as they are. 

The experts at NorthShore’s Center for Personalized Medicine and NorthShore Kellogg Cancer Center created a truly individualized treatment plan. This involved special tests to identify specific biological characteristics of Bertsch’s type of cancer.

Based upon this data, her team of specialists created a plan. Surgical Oncologist David Winchester, MD, first removed the cancer with a mastectomy and preventively removed the other breast. Then, Medical Oncologist Douglas Merkel, MD, acted to prevent the cancer from returning by prescribing medications aimed at blocking hormones found in the tumor. 

“To me, Personalized Medicine means receiving treatment and care tailored specifically to me and my cancer,” said Bertsch. “My care team treated me not as just another patient, but as me—Joanne—a wife, a mother and a fighter. My doctors listened to my concerns, and I felt like a partner in my own healing.” 

One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Everyone is affected by breast cancer, whether it be a family member, a friend or a neighbor. 

This October, please make an investment in the fight against breast cancer at NorthShore. Together, we can create hope. 



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