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Abbott Northwestern Hospital

Lavaan Stutzman remains committed to Abbott Northwestern

Lavaan Stutzman

Give now! Designate your donation to the Piper Breast Center®.

Twelve years ago, Lavaan (Vonnie) Stutzman was diagnosed with breast cancer.

When she met with her Piper Breast Center surgeon, Daniel Dunn, MD, he offered her a new option called sentinel lymph node biopsy — now the standard of care for breast cancer surgery. This treatment involves less extensive surgery and the removal of fewer lymph nodes than previously required, reducing the potential for adverse effects.

Today, Stutzman shows no signs of cancer. She continues to drive to Abbott Northwestern from her Woodbury home for lymphedema care, and for her annual mammograms and follow-up visits with her oncologist. “I had been going to Abbott Northwestern for many years,” Stutzman said. “They handle each patient like you are the only one they are caring for. They do a beautiful job and are so dedicated.”

Stutzman’s participation in research as a patient led her to make donations to support research and patient education at Piper Breast Center. “I’ve lived to see the results of the study. They are truly making a difference,” said Stutzman. “One of the most important things that I could do was support research.”

She also supported the Martha Bacon Stimpson challenge gift for an endowed chair in medical oncology. Her granddaughter even supports the cause by giving through her handbag company, Bagolitas by Janice.

“It’s worth the drive,” explained Stutzman. “If Abbott Northwestern were located in Montana, I’d still go there for care.”