Category: Featured - Part 20

Cancer transitions: From treatment to survival

By Molly Maher Linda Parmiter has just celebrated her 57th birthday. In June 2006 doctors had given her only one year to live after being diagnosed with stage IV melanoma. This is just another day on the calendar to appreciate, she explained, every one being reason to celebrate. Still, this milestone has significance for her. Its important to me because its one step closer to living as long as my mother, the Thornton resident said. Having recently had a tumor-free scan at a follow up, Parmiter has fortunately become one of many cancer survivors today, with national mortality rates of cancer patients on…

Linda Parmiter’s story

By Molly Maher Linda Parmiter imagines different cartoon for each stage of her melanoma treatment. She said she could visualize the drug as a character, battling her cancer. One drug caused her skin to flake, so she imagined it as Pig Pen from Peanuts. Another, very powerful chemotherapy drug started with the letter T, and so she saw a cartoon capital T with muscled arms fighting. Unfortunately, it ended up fighting her healthy side a bit in the meantime. Lastly came the combination treatments that finally shrunk her cancer. That was a Pac Man, munching the tumors away as it…

Maia Rogers’ story

By Molly Maher Every Wednesday, Maia Rogers goes to her regular breakfast spot down the road from her childrens schools. Often she is joined by friends or sometimes by her son home from school with a cold, but on this day she is alone, her first day free of an oxygen tank since a bout with pneumonia. Rogers said this weekly breakfast is one way she has slowed her pace to enjoy life after being diagnosed with cancer. Though she mocks the clich in her feelings, she said cancer has changed her perspective. Youve just had a life-changing illness, she…

Doctor coaches cadre of immigrant women

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon When a robber pointed a gun at Oumar Ouattara while he was working the graveyard shift at a busy 7-Eleven on Denvers East Colfax Avenue, Ouattara begged the gunman not to shoot and wondered why he had ever left his native Ivory Coast. Like many immigrants, Ouattara had to take any job he could to survive after arriving in Colorado. Unlike some immigrants, Ouattara was highly educated and had left behind a good life in his native Africa. A doctor, he was married and owned a four-bedroom home. On a lark, Ouattara entered the annual U.S….

Refugees find path back to medicine

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon After arriving in the U.S., the Cuban refugees darkest moments came when he had to scrub dishes and install wood floors. He missed being respected in his community and practicing medicine, especially caring for babies. Then, when he moved to Denver in 2007 after brief stints in Miami and New Mexico, the doctor with nearly 15 years of medical training in Cuba who is a specialist in both family medicine and radiology, couldnt get a single employer to call him back. All Dr. Edilberto Edy Diaz Rodriguez wanted was a basic health care job like drawing…

Fleeing death threats, Iraqi surgeon starts over

By Diane Carman Dr. Muthanna Jabbar was approached by some men outside his home in Iraq on the day his life changed forever. They pulled me over and said, Are you Muthanna? Quit working with the Americans or were going to kill you. Jabbar turned and walked toward his home a few yards away. I was almost closing my eyes, anticipating a bullet or something in my head, he said. When I reached my kitchen, I thought, Its a miracle. Nothing happened. They left. It was just the first of many miraculous circumstances that led him to Fort Collins, Colorado Welcome Back and…

Denver a mecca for eating disorder recovery

By Mikaila Altenbern Katheryn Liermann decided that she needed help. She wanted to get better. The problem? As she began her search for treatment facilities, she found that her body weight was too low for her to be accepted. In other words, she was too sick to be treated. It felt like everyone had given up on me. It was really disheartening because I had already given up, says Liermann about her search for a clinic with the medical expertise to help her overcome her 12-year struggle with anorexia nervosa. Luckily for Liermann she found the A.C.U.T.E. center at Denver Health Medical Center. She contacted…

New understanding of genetics helps doctors prevent anorexia

By Mikaila Altenbern In 1975, Dr. Craig Johnson, then a medical student at the University of Minnesota, first encountered anorexia nervosa. Johnson found the illness intriguing and realized that there were very few people paying attention to it. It was rare to come across an anorexia patient, said Johnson, who added, It is easy to become an expert in a field where there arent a lot of cases. Today Johnson is one of many experts in eating disorder recovery and prevention working in Denver. Johnson is the chief clinical officer at the Eating Recovery Center in Denver. Specialists in the medical field tend…

‘Amycare?’ ‘Bettycare?’ Colorado’s health exchange headed for final passage

By Katie Kerwin McCrimmon Colorados health insurance exchange bill is sailing toward final approval with backers hailing the measure as the only successful bipartisan exchange legislation in the country. The measure garnered initial approval in Colorados Republican-controlled House on Tuesday evening. It will need final approval in both the House and Senate, but backers are confident that they will win final passage on what theyre calling landmark legislation. Democratic Gov. John Hickenloopers aides quietly have muscled lawmakers into supporting the bill behind the scenes and the governor is expected to sign the measure. An unprecedented bipartisan coalition of business advocates, health industry…

Red-state Utah’s health exchange model for Colorado

By Lois M. Collins SALT LAKE CITY, Utah Sharon Opfermann wanted to provide health insurance for the handful of full-time staff members at the doggy day care and boarding business she operates in South Salt Lake, but it wasnt very easy to pull off. The one-size-fits-all plan she first picked didnt serve each employee equally well. And it was expensive. When she got a chance to enroll her business, Camp Bow Wow, in the Utah Health Exchange a couple of months ago, she jumped at it. Shes paying the same amount toward employee health benefits, but each member of her…