April 13, 2012
By Ashley Hall
MEDFORD, Ore. — Cancer patients in Southern Oregon have an improved space for receiving some treatments, thanks to a well known, be-loved businessman and his family.
Noel Lesley was an Ashland resident. His company, Noel Lesley Event Eervices, is known nationally for it’s work with the NFL and the Superbowl, as well as BCS Championship Games, the Rose Bowl, Major League Baseball and the Olympics.
His daughter, Carolyn, took the reigns as president of the company in 2008, as Noel Lesley battled cancer. During his fight, Noel spent a lot of time at Providence Medford Medical Center’s Infusion Room and wanted to improve the treatment center. After many generous donations, the vision of Noel and his family became a reality this month.
Jimmie McCoy is a cancer patient; he has metastatic carcinoma, which is lung cancer; he receives treatment at the Infusion Center twice a week, for 2 hours at a time.
“When you take all these medications, and everything, your body gets so dehydrated, it just won’t function anymore,” Jimmie says, “And, especially on some of these chemos being used, you have to get re-hydrated, otherwise it literally can kill you.”
That’s why Jimmie and many other cancer patients visit the infusion room, to get re-hydrated, receive outpatient chemotherapy, or undergo blood transfusions.
“Pump them up with fluids, or give them transfusions and chemo, then they go home for the day. They don’t have to spend the night,” says Registered Nurse David Adams.
But it’s only been in the past two weeks that those time-consuming treatments have been provided in this space.
“The infusion room was a huge priority, not only for the hospital but also Noel Lesley,” says Providence Medford Medical Center representative Jodi Barnard.
In fact, Noel’s daughter called the former infusion room the “intrusion room”, due to it being crowded and cramped.
“This room here is so much different from the old one. It’s light and airy. They picked the right scenery. At the same time, you have your own privacy, which means a lot because of us who come here, we don’t feel good,” Jimmie says.
Now, the new space has partitions and curtains between the chairs. Another big part of the upgrade is a personal TV set in each space. For all the benefits of the new Noel Lesley Infusion Room, one of the most basic is how close it is to the exit, and the parking lot.
Providence does help cover the cost of cancer medications for patients who cannot afford it and this weekend, they’re hoping to get a boost to that fund during the Pear Blossom Festival.
Airport Chevrolet is sponsoring a concert and barbecue after the parade at the Old Dollar GMC Building at 8th and Riverside. There is no cost for the barbeque. Cost of admission and barbecue is free, with any donation to the Medford Providence Cancer Center Medication Assistance Fund.