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While everyone has challenges in his or her life, Amelia Greenfield has had more than the average person. But this fighter hasn’t let anything stop her from succeeding in life. Not teenage motherhood, graduating from high school and college, or facing cancer.
After delivering her first baby while still in high school, Amelia was forced to drop out to raise her child. Determined to earn her high school diploma and not a GED, she returned to high school in her forties to achieve her degree. Amelia juggled work and family to attend college and earned her associates degree at Philadelphia Community College. Not one to sit still, Amelia quickly enrolled at Temple University to continue to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. In May 2011, this 54-year-old grandmother and college student was not feeling well and sought medical attention.
“I felt bloated and constipated. I couldn’t eat or drink,” recalled Amelia. “I spent Mother’s Day in the Emergency Room where doctors tried to learn what was wrong with me.” What doctors later uncovered was an ovarian tumor.
“I was shocked!” admitted Amelia, who said she didn’t have a clue it was cancer. With her husband, Reginald, and her three children by her side, Amelia decided to make an appointment with Christina Chu, MD, a gynecologic surgeon who specializes in treating patients with ovarian cancer.
"Dr. Chu is extremely caring and knowledgeable"
“Dr. Chu is extremely caring and knowledgeable,” explained Amelia, who liked her the minute they met. “Dr. Chu got to know me as a person – not just a patient.”
Dr. Chu performed a hysterectomy on Amelia and learned that the cancer was contained to her abdominal region. Next, she began Amelia on a course of chemotherapy. As a gynecologic oncologist, Dr. Chu is able to perform surgery and manage the medical treatment of her patients. Amelia had some challenges on the medication and Dr. Chu adjusted her treatment along the way.
“When it seemed that one medication wasn’t working, I would ask Dr. Chu ‘What will we do if it doesn’t work?’” recalled Amelia. Dr. Chu told her she’d find something else and would not give up on Amelia. “She’s a fighter and so am I,” Amelia smiled.
Amelia continued to pursue her college degree during her treatment and graduated from Temple University with a Bachelor’s degree in May 2012. Her family couldn't have been more proud of her. Today, she works as an education program director. “My strong sense of determination helped me get through this,” Amelia suggested.
"I would recommend Fox Chase to anyone facing cancer."
“I would recommend Fox Chase to anyone facing cancer,” Amelia explained. “They are totally geared to treating cancer – it’s all they do. I also like their individualized approach to the disease. Just because I had stage IV didn’t mean it was over. Dr. Chu and the entire team were there to fight for me.”
Today, Amelia continues to be monitored by Dr. Chu while she works full time and enjoys her family. In her free time, Amelia has begun piano lessons. “I’ve always enjoyed piano music and for years I’ve wanted to play.” It seems there is nothing than can stop Amelia from conquering her dreams.