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Recognizing Her “Rock”

Michele Frederick is a fighter. Diagnosed with cancer more than two decades ago, Frederick continues to receive treatment for a brain tumor. But she is determined to stay strong.

A key player helping Frederick on her journey is Matt Schmitz, cancer exercise specialist with the Nassif Community Cancer Center. Schmitz’s role is to help Frederick maintain her cardiovascular health, strength, range of motion, and balance. For everything Schmitz does for her, Frederick recently chose to honor him with a Guardian Angel award.

Through the Guardian Angel program, patients and families donate to St. Luke’s Foundation in honor of an individual or department that has gone above and beyond for them. In turn, these gifts help fund programs and equipment that add to the quality of care at UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids and the Community Cancer Center.

“Matt has been a godsend,” says Michele’s mother, Pam Mann. “He makes sure Michele’s doing OK and if she has a problem or a question about something, he knows who on their team can help. He’s a good resource and a good friend.”

Frederick agrees. “Matt genuinely cares about you. If I’m having a bad day, I can tell him and he’ll help me work through it, or he’ll get a therapist in there for me right away. He has truly been a rock for me during some difficult times.”

Fredericks’s two-year-old granddaughter Bexley presented the Guardian Angel award to Matt at a ceremony in January.

“We made sure he didn’t know about the award in advance so he would be surprised!” exclaims Frederick. “I wanted him to know he’s appreciated by me and my family.”

Her mother adds, “The Guardian Angel award is an outstanding program. You don’t have to give a lot of money to recognize someone who really deserves it. It makes the recipient feel good and it makes you feel good, too!”

Want to express your appreciation to the caregivers who made a difference for you or a loved one? Guardian Angel gifts can be of any size, and a ceremony honors those who go above and beyond for you. For more information, call (319) 369-7716.


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