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CANCER PATIENT'S DEDICATION HELPS BUY SURGICAL MICROSCOPE.

Byline: Daily News staff

SANTA CLARITA - With the help of Sheila Veloz's fund-raising efforts, Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital recently purchased a surgical microscope.

Veloz spent two years raising $60,000 of the $100,0000 needed to purchase the surgical equipment that will be used for neurosurgery, ear, nose and throat microsurgery, and plastic and reconstructive surgery, including breast reconstruction.

Newhall Memorial is the first hospital in the area to acquire this technology, and the hospital foundation provided the balance needed to purchase the equipment.

``The community will benefit enormously from this equipment,'' said Dr. Marc Lussier, a plastic surgeon. ``This is a piece of equipment that surgeons really want to use.''

Veloz was the first breast cancer patient to speak on behalf of the hospital's foundation, providing the first testimonial at a reception in her home, where she encouraged all women to get annual mammograms and to perform breast self-exams.

She lost her battle with cancer in July. But her husband Tom, and daughter, Janine Jones, were on hand when the Newhall Memorial dedicated the microscope in her memory.

In addition to the new surgical microscope, Veloz's fund-raising helped provide the hospital with a gamma probe used to detect precise areas of cancer infiltration. It also purchased comfort items such as specialized recliners for chemotherapy recipients to use as an alternative to lying in bed, and chair-beds allowing family members to remain with the patient, which is critical in patient and family well-being.

In addition to her fund-raising, Veloz worked to establish the foundation's Breast Cancer Awareness Program, and her commitment to the hospital was unshakable to the end of her life.

``We will always remember her generous nature and significant concern for cancer patients,'' said Lisa Foust, foundation president. ``We are pleased to purchase this equipment to honor her diligent work on our behalf.''

CAPTION(S):

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Photo:

(color) Dr. Marc Lussier, left, demonstrates use of the new surgical microscope as Tom Veloz and his daughter Sheila watch.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 11, 2002
Words:330
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