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Meg Gaines.

Turned her battle against ovarian cancer into a crusade for patients' rights

Meg Gaines learned about the importance of patients' rights the hard way. "People majorly screwed up," she says of the treatment she received when she was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer in 1994.

Fortunately, Gaines, a college law professor, refused to trust her doctors blindly. Faced with the news that her cancer was inoperable, she chose not to accept the prognosis, scouring the country instead for better information and newer surgical techniques. Her gamble paid off: Today she's happy and healthy, and she serves as the founding director of the Center for Patient Partnerships at the University of Wisconsin. There Gaines helps patients acquire the confidence and knowledge she had to pick up on her own.

"One of the greatest things I get to do is walk into somebody's hospital room and just stand there," she says. "When someone's just been diagnosed and they're feeling like crap and they're on chemotherapy and they have no hair, and I walk in and say, `Yep, been where you are and worse, and here I am now'--more words are not necessary. I get to walk in and be hope."
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Title Annotation:crusader for patients' rights
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 14, 2001
Previous Article:Larry Kramer.
Next Article:Stephen Goldstone & Susan Ball.

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