Thrive by IU Health

June 01, 2023

Thanking caregivers who lit dark days

IU Health North Hospital

Thanking caregivers who lit dark days

Imagine being pregnant with your first child and told the unthinkable: You have breast cancer.

For Tonia Madden, this nightmare became her reality when she was 35 weeks pregnant with her first child. “It was just shocking news to hear because you’re supposed to be getting ready to welcome a baby and now having to deal with cancer was heartbreaking,” she said.

A week later, Tonia gave birth to her son, Anders. Two weeks after that, she had a lumpectomy to remove the cancer. When her son was four weeks old, Tonia started chemo treatment at IU Health North Hospital.

Tonia’s darkest days were made brighter by the care she received. “I just remember my regular infusion nurses while getting treatment—Dawn, Katie and Sherry,” Tonia said. “They treated me more as a friend or a family member than just a patient. They knew my name, my story, what my family dressed up as for Halloween. Receiving care from nurses that feel like family members just helps you through the process.” Said Chris, Tonia’s husband, “Every single nurse, every single doctor made Tonia feel like she was the most important person in the world at that time.”

The Maddens wanted to ensure that other families could receive the same compassionate care that Tonia experienced. On Giving Tuesday 2022, the Maddens, in conjunction with Networks Connect, the healthcare staffing company Chris operates, made a $50,000 matching contribution to the IU Health Foundation in support of the IU Health Joe & Shelly Schwarz Cancer Center in Carmel.

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