MOM helps Paul Treadwell with skin cancer diagnosis
As part of MOM AZ’s 25th anniversary celebration, we’re visiting with past and present volunteers, patients and community partners who have been integral to MOM’s mission over the years. Today we connected with Paul Treadwell, who was a MOM patient for a decade and now gives back to the organization when he’s able.
A KTVK Good Evening Arizona news segment about Mission of Mercy’s (MOM) work in Arizona may have saved Paul Treadwell’s life. Back in the summer of 2003, he woke up to a drop of a blood on his pillow and he felt a scabbed, raised bump on the back of his neck that he couldn’t quite see.
That news story combined with his concern about the bump motivated him to call MOM. He found out that he could visit the organization’s North Phoenix clinic location the very next day on a walk-in basis.
“It was serendipitous really. I got there early before the clinic was set up and oddly enough, there was a volunteer dermatologist there that week,” Paul recalled. “Dr. Rosemary Geary saw me and told me that it looked like skin cancer, and she took a biopsy. Two days later, I had the results that it was basil cell skin cancer and I needed to come in to get it removed.”
At the time, Paul was an on-call banquet server for the Arizona Biltmore and he did not have healthcare insurance through his work since he wasn’t employed full time. He spent just shy of 25 years working for the Biltmore in that capacity.
“During my time with MOM, I visited the clinic every few months for checkups with Dr. Geary. I’m fortunate that I am otherwise healthy,” Paul said. “In total, I had three or four surgeries to remove skin cancer thanks to MOM, one of which was melanoma.”
MOM served as his medical home for 13 years until he qualified for AHCCCS. Today, Paul is 65 and eligible for Medicare.
For the past two years, he’s made a year-end donation to MOM as a thank you to the health-care nonprofit that helped him in his time of need.
“Everyone at Mission of Mercy from check in to the doctors, they are angels. It felt like a family. No one ever asked me to show a pay stub or a tax return, it was all based on trust and a desire to help,” Paul said. “The clinic was inclusive, warm, welcoming, calming and assuring. When one of the things you can’t afford is medical care, it’s a relief to know there’s an organization like MOM available.”