Together, our community cared for Laura Keller

“I’m one of the good news stories”

Laura Keller never believed she’d get breast cancer — “not in a million years,” says the Guelph mother of three. Unfortunately, she was wrong.

It all started with a routine mammogram in the spring of 2021, the kind recommended for women every two years once they turn 50. Even when the imaging centre asked Laura to come back for a second scan, she wasn’t worried.

But then she got a call from her family doctor telling her they’d detected a tumour.

The first thing she thought of was her children. Her husband had passed away suddenly five years earlier when her youngest was only 13. Now, she didn’t want them to lose the only parent they had left. That’s really what scared me,” she says.

It was a stressful few months.

Fortunately, the cancer hadn’t spread. But because her tumour was in a very difficult place to reach, she had to go through a battery of imaging scans before it could be removed.

The day of Laura’s surgery began in the nuclear medicine department, where they injected a radioactive tracer to see if any lymph nodes were affected. From there, she went to the ultrasound department for needle localization, so the surgeon would know what tissue to remove. After that came a final mammogram before she was wheeled into the OR.

Laura is very grateful to the community members who make that equipment possible through their donations. “Those kinds of machines save your life,” she says.

She’s also full of praise for the Guelph General team who made sure everything ran without a hiccup. But what she remembers most is how compassionate and kind everyone was — like the nurse who squeezed her hand outside the operating room and told her she was going to be fine. “That meant the world,” Laura says.

Today, her prognosis is excellent. And she wants her community to know what a gem Guelph General is.

“We have this amazing hospital full of really great people — and good equipment,” she says. “The citizens of Guelph really are lucky to have this here.”