Donors Help Save His Life



Donors helped save his life

When Thomas Moe and his wife, Marlene, moved to Bismarck 38 years ago, the young pharmacist went to work in a local drug store. But he had a different plan.

“After three months I told my wife, I’m either going back to medical school or opening up my own pharmacy,” Moe said, adding they had just purchased a home. “She picked owning a business.”

Most of his life has been spent running that business – Northbrook Drug. He also enjoys spending time with their two children and four grandchildren and recently traveling to Arizona during the winter season.

But life took a twist in January 2013. After seeing blood in his stool, he called Dr. Russell Emery, a Sanford Health Family Medicine Physician.

“Dr. Emery was very concerned and said, ‘We need to do a colonoscopy and endoscopy,” Moe said. “When they did that, I was pretty sure it was going to come back positive, and sure it did.”

The tests confirmed stage 3 colorectal cancer.

After surgery in March, Moe endured six cycles of chemotherapy, followed by chemo with radiation daily for five weeks and six more cycles of chemotherapy. The treatment was inconvenient and uncomfortable at times.

“The side effects are ugly,” he said. “At one point I thought it was worse than the disease.”

His last treatment was in December. Moe credits his excellent care at Sanford Health to saving his life.

“I was absolutely impressed,” he said. “The medical team and nurses in the infusion center, most of us have a nickname for them – angels.”

Everyone he encountered – from the receptionists to the oncologists – was knowledgeable and compassionate. “They learn your name immediately. They make you feel right at home,” he said. “They take some of the nervousness and edge off.”

Moe was also impressed with the technology, such as the Elekta Infinity/Agility, state-of-the-art equipment capable of customizing radiation beams directed more accurately at a patient’s tumor.

“It made me feel good because it’s the newest thing and Bismarck has them and nobody else,” he said.

Generous donors to the Sanford Bismarck Cancer Center ensure patients throughout the region have access to the latest in diagnostics and treatments and specialists for cancer.

“I probably wouldn’t be here now if not for Sanford and the Foundation,” Moe said.

For more information or to make a gift, go to sanfordhealthfoundation.org or call (701) 323-8450.

Posted Date: August 2014

Donors Help Save His Life

Most of his life has been spent running that business – Northbrook Drug, but life took a twist in January 2013.