When you’re a 30-year-old mom raising three active children, life is a blur of basketball and baseball practices, gymnastics, homework, grocery shopping and picking up dirty socks.
Erica Griffin lived that busy life happily while also working with her husband in their log home construction business. The last thing she thought about was getting sick.
So, in 2008, when doctors at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine told Erica that she had stage III breast cancer, she was rocked to her core.
“I didn’t know how to tell my kids,” she says. “My youngest, Katie, was just 4. My boys, Tyler and Zachary, were 10 and 12. We had so much ahead of us as a family. That’s when I realized that I couldn’t let this awful disease steal their childhood.”
Finding the Best Care at Siteman Cancer Center
When Erica was diagnosed, she wanted to go where the latest and greatest treatments were available—and that was at Siteman Cancer Center. Even though Siteman was two hours away from her home, it was worth the drive. Erica’s surgeon, Julie Margenthaler, MD, became her lifesaver and her friend.
“Knowing I had my family and the incredible Siteman team on my side gave me strength and hope,” Erica says.
Thanks to the generosity of donors to The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Siteman is making signicant strides in research, prevention and treatments so more patients like Erica can live healthier, more hopeful lives.
Surviving and Thriving After Breast Cancer
After a double mastectomy and reconstruction, a year of chemotherapy, six weeks of radiation, and ongoing doctor visits and tests, Erica came to know the Siteman team pretty well. Their expertise, technology, compassion and research has made all the difference to her and her family.
Today, nine years after her life-changing breast cancer diagnosis, Erica is still here and thriving.
“Siteman saved my life. And they saved my children’s childhood,” Erica says.
She has watched Tyler buy his first home, Zach hit a home run, and Katie score 10 points in her first basketball game. Those moments mean the world to Erica and she is forever grateful to the donors to the Foundation who made it all possible.