One month after mesothelioma treatment, “old Mainer” well enough to play the French horn

In an interview with Dr. David Sugarbaker two weeks ago, Mr. Dick Starke of Maine said in that less than two months into recovery after his 2008 surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, he was well enough to play the French horn.

Mr. Starke says, “I play the French horn, the tenor saxophone, the clarinet and what have you. And I needed that lung to continue to play, because wind power is very important. And Dr. Sugarbaker agreed he’d leave me with the lung. Which he did.”

Brigham and Women’s Hospital is known for its mesothelioma treatment program, which is why Mr. Starke traveled down from the coast of Maine to seek treatment. He relayed a story which highlighted the personal care and individualized mesothelioma treatment that patients receive from Dr. Sugarbaker and his colleagues:

“The surgeon [in Maine] took a look at it, did a biopsy, said, “Well, you have mesothelioma. And frankly, that’s a disease that’s too complicated for me to handle. But there are a group of surgerons at Brigham and Women’s in Boston that have made a whole new thing out of treating this particular disease.””

Mr. Starke smiled at Dr. Sugarbaker as he came to the next part of the story of his successful mesothelioma treatment.

“[The doctor in Maine] said, “Now, I can send you down there to see these surgeons. They may not take you.” And I said, “Oh really? Why not?” And he said, “Well, after all, you are 79.” When I arrived here in Boston and met Dr. Sugarbaker, he laughed and laughed… and said, “Of course we’ll take you.””

Mesothelioma treatments can be expensive and require travel, which is why Brigham and Women’s has programs such as the travel assistance program and the housing program for out-of-town patients.

Just as Brigham and Women’s work for mesothelioma patients, so do attorneys and law firms such as Weitz & Luxenberg that specialize in helping mesothelioma patients and other victims of asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma treatment can be expensive, but with the help of an experienced law firm, you can focus on getting the best treatment possible, without worrying about the cost.


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