In 2002, Pete Daly was diagnosed with Stage III melanoma and told he had a 50 percent chance of survival. Like many patients, Pete’s cancer diagnosis changed his life. He became a self-advocate, building his own health care team and working to secure the best health care he could find.
As an early client of the center, student advocates were assigned to work with Pete. They helped him with his early questions: What is this disease? What are possible treatments? How do provider charges compare against insurance payments, and what does that mean for me? Who is a good therapist for my family and me? How will I assemble my team?
Transformed by his experience, Pete soon began to take his lessons to others as a volunteer advocate and supervisor at the center. The mysteries of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, have not escaped him. Facing the unknown, Pete’s daily lessons carry over to his work, informing his relationships with patients and his supervision of student advocates.
Pete believes the Center reaches students at the right time, just before they begin their careers. He knows from experience the often immeasurable help that future professionals can provide patients who face life-threatening conditions. According to Pete: “the Center implants an unforgettable, patient-centered experience that students will carry with them as they embark on their professional journeys.”