Cassie’s Story: Beating Breast Cancer

Cassie Hajek, a physician and researcher from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, dedicated her career to saving the lives of others but never expected to be a patient herself. “A breast cancer diagnosis always takes people by surprise. No one is expecting it,” she said.

At the time of her diagnosis, Hajek and her team were submitting a manuscript about breast cancer risk.

Her experience taught her that breast cancer can touch anyone.

Cassie’s journey was long and complex, with 16 weeks of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation, but through it all, she never walked alone thanks to lifesaving care and direct patient support program – all which are fueled by philanthropy. “I honestly feel grateful for the entire process from beginning to end and I think that everything that the Foundation does with donor funds helps to support that,” Hajek said.

100% of gifts through to the Edith Sanford Breast Center through the Sanford Health Foundation make a difference for breast cancer patients and their loved ones — fueling vital programs like Nurse Navigation and survivorship initiatives, advancing breakthroughs in research, supporting lifesaving equipment and technology like 3D mammography and so much more.

Hajek feels fortunate that her experience went the way it did. “I mean all along the way, I couldn’t have asked for a better team. We had the nurse navigator with us, who was amazing,” she said.

Cassie in Chemotherapy

If you’re inspired by this story and want to support Sanford Breast Health initiatives, giving to the Sanford Health Foundation will ensure that 100% of your donation will go to support patients and their families receiving care.

Give the gift of compassion to patients and families receiving breast cancer care at Sanford Health facilities. Your gift supports services like nurse navigation, breast cancer research, direct financial patient assistance, and lifesaving equipment close to home.