Breast cancer survivor speaks about AdventHealth clinic that changed her life

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS , Fla. — A cancer diagnosis is overwhelming, and understanding a care plan with multiple doctors can be confusing.


This year marks five years since one local hospital took a new approach to treating certain cancer types.

Channel 9′s Karla Ray spoke to one of the first breast cancer patients to go through this process at AdventHealth about how it helped her beat the disease.

Check-ins for check-ups are less stressful now that Simona Lazinsk is almost five years out of her breast cancer diagnosis.

Read: Susan G. Komen More than Pink Walk returns to raise funds for breast cancer

“It went from the best time of my life to the worst time of my life. Being diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said.

At 42 and engaged, she felt frozen and overwhelmed by the number of appointments and specialists she would have to see to come up with a treatment plan.

“I felt almost like it was a death sentence for me,” Lazinsk said. “It was…I felt like, all of a sudden, my life had been snatched away from me, and I didn’t know what to do. It was so devastating.”

Read: ‘Don’t wait’: Local woman shares what she’s learned after multiple breast cancer diagnoses

That changed when she found AdventHealth’s Breast Multidisciplinary Clinic, which put all her doctors in one room to develop her treatment plan.

Dr. Wassim Mchayleh is her medical oncologist.

“There is nothing better for a patient with a diagnosis of cancer than having a clear plan,” Mchayleh said.

Read: Central Florida breast cancer survivor & patient advocate pushes for change

Over the last five years, the MDC model has treated about 2,000 breast cancer patients.

It has expanded to Orlando, Celebration, Winter Park, and Kissimmee later this year.

And the treatments helped Lazinsk plan her wedding, write a book and win a pageant – all while beating cancer.

Read: ‘Beacon of hope’: Cure Bowl, March 2Cure return to Orlando this weekend -- this time at UCF

“I am so grateful to still be alive and still be here for five years,” she said. “I can’t imagine if I didn’t go through the treatments (and) if I didn’t have the support from my team of doctors and my loving husband where I would be today.”

Lazinsk will join other survivors at Cranes Roost Park this weekend for the Susan G. Komen More than Pink Walk.

Channel 9 anchor Karla Ray will represent 9 Family Connection as a host of the event.

Opening ceremonies start at 9:30 a.m.

Click here to download our free news, weather and smart TV apps. And click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Karla Ray

Karla Ray, WFTV.com

Karla Ray anchors Eyewitness News This Morning on Saturday and Sundays, and is an investigative reporter for the 9 Investigates unit.

Comments on this article