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Patient stories

Charles

On April 19, at 47 years of age, I was diagnosed with stage one tongue cancer. I was in no way prepared for this. I'd just moved to New York and started my dream job as CEO and President of a company. I was devastated, not to mention we were in the middle of a pandemic! I didn't see how things could get much worse at this point in time.

My treatment was 35 sessions of radiation and 7 rounds of chemotherapy. I was literally scared for my life. My first trip to the Cancer Center changed everything. I met my Angel, Toni Ann Zukowski, the one person who would get me through the most horrifying thing I had ever done in my life!

I am beyond blessed to be through treatment and finally starting to feel better. Toni Ann was my biggest blessing. She and I connected. She had a way about her that made me know everything would be okay. She talked me through everything from the very first day. She was honest and told me it was going to be the hardest thing I ever had to do, but she would help me through it.

Toni Ann cared about me getting well. She made me smile every time I went for chemo. We talked about our families and became friends. She coached me when times were bad and comforted me when I was upset. In the end, I got so sick I had to be in the hospital for several days. Who came to see me to cheer me up? Yes, Toni Ann! She is simply the most incredible person God put on the planet and is the perfect cancer nurse. When I go back for checkups I always go early and make sure I get to see her. There is no one more deserving of recognition or praise at White Plains Hospital than Toni Ann.