Mary's Story


Mary is grateful. Grateful for a wonderful life with her husband Ralph and for her seven children, 13 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She is also grateful to the UMass Medicine Cancer Center.

When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, Mary and her family -- particularly her daughter Kathy Ermilio, an RN at UMass Memorial -- investigated every possible avenue to ensure she would receive the best cancer treatment available. After meeting with teams of doctors in Boston and at UMass Medicine Cancer Center, Mary decided to receive her treatment at UMass.

“People think that Boston is best,
but for me personally it was not,” said Mary. “There would have been no benefit to being treated in Boston, with UMass being so close to home. Long, stressful, commutes in and out of the city would have been exhausting.”

After meeting with her team of oncologists, Mary felt confident that the treatment plan they laid forth met both her physical and psychological needs. More time at home afforded her rest in an environment conducive to healing, as well as more time with her family. While speaking on her experiences at UMass, Mary said, "There are many factors to consider when undergoing chemo and radiation therapy. Getting the right information and support from your doctors and family throughout the process, makes decision making easier. I stuck with UMass and could not be more pleased. Dr. Maykel was like a hero to me. He was caring, warm, considerate and proved to be highly specialized and competent in his field of expertise. I could not have asked for more!"

When asked what UMass means to her, Mary said, “It’s the place to go. I cannot speak highly enough about the wonderful staff and doctors there.”