Church Health patient Arn Vertrea

Happy Veterans Day!

Many service members and veterans have graced our lives as patients, partners and friends. Today we extend our deep appreciation to these men and women and their families for the sacrifices they’ve made to serve our country and community.

Arn has worn many, many hats in his life – in addition to his beloved Stetson. He’s an army veteran, but throughout his life he’s also been a missionary, an artist, a musician, and a student.

He’s also a cancer survivor, and he says that he’s alive today because of Church Health.

Arn had been a Church Health patient through our MEMPHIS Plan program for many years before, he says, he “really needed care” outside of routine check-ups. But that changed when his doctor found a baseball-sized tumor on his kidney. Working with the Church Health volunteer team at West Cancer Clinic, Arn was cancer-free a year later.

But his fight wasn’t over yet. When his “pet tumor,” as he jokingly refers to it, returned years later, Arn and his Church Health team suited up to fight it again. Arn stresses that the factor that sets his care team apart is their willingness to listen to him. “They found my first tumor because they listened to me. It feels like they have all the time in the world for me. I can’t speak highly enough of Church Health.”

This January, Arn’s cancer returned. This time, it’s stage 4 bone cancer. But Arn is approaching this fight with the same hope and optimism that he brings to any challenge. “The tumor hasn’t gone away, but it hasn’t grown, either.”

We’re grateful for Arn and his service to our country, and we’ll keep fighting with him, listening to him and loving him.

Church Health

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