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Sarah Gabehart

From Patient to Professional

April 11, 2023 Posted in: Patients & Providers

 

When Sarah Gabehart, BSN, RN, OCN, manager of oncology services and outpatient infusion, CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care Center, Flaget Memorial Hospital, was 11 years old, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor larger than an egg. Although the tumor was benign (not cancer), its location and size led doctors to believe Gabehart had only six weeks left to live.

With her parents by her side, she quickly found herself in the hospital, awaiting surgery. It was a challenging, scary time. Fortunately, Gabehart lives to tell her story and says the nurses gave her great comfort throughout the journey, an experience that stayed with her long after she returned to being a seventh grader again.

“My nurses made me want to become one,” Gabehart said. “They were so caring and kind and truly put me at ease. That’s what I wanted to do for people.”

Finding Her Home

As a nursing student, Gabehart worked with patients who were being treated for cancer and she knew right away she had found her place.

“While most people go to the doctor to feel better, oncology patients come to us and receive chemotherapy or radiation treatments, which usually make them feel sick,” Gabehart said. “I wanted to help them in any way that I could.”

Gabehart has worked in cancer care for seven years and is thrilled to be a part of the oncology team at CHI Saint Joseph Health – Cancer Care Center at Flaget Memorial Hospital. In addition to medical care, Gabehart’s patients benefit from other aspects of treatment and recovery, such as genetic testing, rehabilitation and survivorship support.

“If you receive treatment with us, you will never go through it alone,” Gabehart said. “We will be there with you every step of the way.”

Gabehart says when she looks back on her experiences as a patient, she sees her journey as a blessing.

“Every day I get to work with cancer patients is another opportunity to make their lives better,” she said. “Now, as a manager, I not only get to help patients, I get to help staff too. I love being a nurse. And I get to work beside the most amazing group of people.”

Learn more about cancer care services at Flaget Memorial Hospital.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2022 print edition of Spirit of Health.

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Spirit of Health magazine's print edition is distributed quarterly and focuses on topics related to our CHI Saint Joseph Health purpose and values.