A Creative Approach to Healing

A Creative Approach to Healing - Gratitude Story

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In 2013, Anthony Imamura was told he had Stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after a visit to the emergency department at a hospital near his home, “I  was shocked but determined to do everything in my power to get better,” he says.

Imamura was facing six rounds of chemotherapy, each requiring a five day stay in the hospital. He received his first round of treatment at the hospital where he was diagnosed. “I wasn’t expecting it to be easy, but I was expecting a better quality of care,” he says.

He decided to research other healthcare providers in the area and found a renowned specialist at MedStar Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center who had extensive experience treating his type of cancer. He transferred there for his care and he’s forever grateful that he did.

“It was such a different experience. What made it truly remarkable was their approach to care,” he says. “Cancer is a complex disease that affects you physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Patients are often left to deal with the psychological aspects on their own. Not at MedStar Georgetown.”

He was soon introduced to the Lombardi Arts and Humanities program, which uses the arts to reduce the trauma of hospitalization. “Seeing the artists create and hearing the musicians perform brought a peaceful calm to the anxiety I felt during my hospital stays and clinic visits,” he says. “The more I discovered about the program, the more my interest flourished.”

Imamura is now cancer free and serves on the Advisory Council for the Arts and Humanities program. “I have always believed in giving back. Helping to spread the word about this incredible program is a way for me to express my immense gratitude,” he says. “It was a life-changing experience, and I am so thankful to everyone at MedStar Georgetown for addressing my needs as a whole person.”

The program also led to an introduction to Theresa Stone, MD, who runs the Fresh and Savory Culinary Medicine program at MedStar Health Lafayette Centre. When she found out he had culinary training, she asked him to help with the program, which teaches patients how to eat healthier. He spends several hours each week working with Dr. Stone and her patients as a chef educator.

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