Stephanie Gunderman
Stories

Stephanie’s Own Breast Cancer Diagnosis Inspires Her to Give Back

Apr 4 2022
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Stephanie Gunderman is an outreach coordinator with the Mercy Health – Mobile Mammography Van. She was initially drawn to medical imaging because of the opportunity in this field.

“I graduated from Mercy College of Ohio with my degree in radiologic technology and went on to become registered in radiography, computed tomography and mammography,” she shares. “And I have been blessed with amazing career opportunities through Mercy Health ever since.”

Stephanie continues, “I completed clinicals for each modality at Mercy Health – St. Anne Hospital and had the pleasure of working in their CT department. I started my career at Mercy College of Ohio as an adjunct lab instructor and am so grateful for the career growth I experienced at the college, moving on to become an instructor and eventually clinical coordinator. I stepped away from Mercy Health and medical imaging in 2018 to pursue another career opportunity. However, I found myself interested in rejoining the Mercy Health family after a challenging year in 2020.”

On Feb. 26, 2020, Stephanie was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma. At the age of 34, she was blindsided by the diagnosis. The following months were challenging, and the year ended with Stephanie losing her job because of an organizational restructure.

“There were so many times throughout 2020 I felt defeated,” she shares. “However, I tried to stay positive and trust the events happening in my life were part of my journey. That they were leading me to the path I was meant to be on.”

As one can imagine, a cancer diagnosis at 34 changed Stephanie’s life perspective. She knew she wanted the next steps in her career to be meaningful and have a positive impact on others. She acknowledges she was blessed by having the ability to take time and wait for the right career opportunity.

“Months later, the Mercy Health – Mobile Mammography outreach coordinator position opened,” Stephanie says. “After a grueling year, I finally felt like things were falling into place. I knew without hesitation that women’s health was where I wanted to be.”

As breast cancer impacts so many women, Stephanie loves being in a position that makes it easier for women to get screened and spread breast cancer awareness throughout our community.

“It is so important for women to stay current with their screenings and to be familiar with their bodies so they can easily identify any changes and report those changes to their provider immediately,” Stephanie says. “Because of my age, I hadn’t started regular screening mammograms prior to my diagnosis. However, knowing my body allowed me to identify an abnormal lump and a diagnostic mammogram was able to detect my breast cancer at an early stage. Early-stage detection led to a great prognosis.”

Stephanie feels that the mobile mammography unit is such a wonderful resource for the women in the Toledo community. It helps to eliminate barriers women face like time, access and location when it comes to getting their screening mammogram.

Screening mammograms are an effective tool for detecting breast cancer and can often find lumps long before they are felt in a physical exam,” Stephanie says. “We know that early detection is key to treating and surviving breast cancer and the mobile unit makes it quick and convenient for women to get screened. We’re able to meet women where they are throughout our community.”

The mobile unit travels to companies and community sites throughout northwest Ohio including Oregon, Waterville, Swanton, Tiffin, Bryan, Holland, Perrysburg, Napoleon and several locations throughout Toledo.

To find the mobile unit near you, go to mercy.com/toledomobilemamm. You can also schedule your appointment by calling 833-MAMM-VAN (833-626-6826).

Mammograms are covered by most health plans. For best coverage, please verify that Mercy Health – St. Charles Hospital are providers in your health plan. You may also be eligible for financial assistance if you have no insurance or a high deductible. See if you qualify by calling the Mammography Assistance Program at 419-696-5839.


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