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“They Are My Shining Stars!”

Cancer survivor is grateful for her support at the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center

In 2015, Natalie Rees had a colonoscopy, which led to a minor surgery to remove the cancer. She was diagnosed with stage 0 cancer. Her treatment plan did not include chemotherapy or radiation, but she still heard the word “cancer.”

Since then she has been a patient at the Helen G. Nassif Community Cancer Center, where she has worked with Matt Schmitz, program manager. “I knew I was in trouble [with weight and exercise],” says Rees, “Matt was so kind, has kept a piece of paper in his office for me to mark a tally when I would do a lap around the PCI Medical Pavilion. I could slip into his office and mark down how many laps I had done, so I was accountable to myself and him. Often, he would encourage me when he saw I had marked new tallies. I began talking with the Medical Pavilion concierges during my laps and they started cheering me on. I had a team outside of myself and it was incredible. The Nassif Community Cancer Center secretary, Jill, even started recognizing me and always said, ‘hello.’ Matt should have a shining star, along with Jill and all the concierge’s! They are my shining stars!”

National Cancer Survivors’ Day was on June 2 and the Nassif Community Cancer Center will be celebrating the shining stars who inspire us every day all month long. Throughout the month of June, the Community Cancer Center will have special events to honor our patients, survivors and their loved ones.

Tell us about your shining star and we will display that individual’s name on a star at the Nassif Community Cancer Center all month long. To include your shining star, please call (319) 369-8100 or email with the name of the person(s) you are inspired by.


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