Content provided by Adventist Health Glendale
In a world filled with medical advancements and innovations, it’s disheartening when patients face roadblocks in their quest for treatment. Mary Borjas was one such patient. This story is a testament to her resilience. The struggles along the nine-month journey eventually led Borjas to the dedicated health care professionals at Adventist Health Glendale.
During a self-exam last September, Borjas noticed a painful lump on her breast. She was 39 years old at the time of the startling discovery. What transpired over the ensuing months devastated her physical and mental health.
According to Borjas, her doctor dissuaded her from seeking further treatment until she turned 40 for insurance billing purposes. After months of unrelenting calls to her doctor and insurance company, Borjas was cleared for a mammogram in January 2023. The results confirmed a mass at the source of the pain.
Another three months passed before Borjas received approval for a specialized biopsy. Meanwhile, the pain had spread to her torso and abdomen. As her condition worsened, Borjas’ despair grew. She left her job because of intolerable pain, nausea and headaches. She even contemplated giving up the fight against her cancer.
In May 2023, the day before Borjas was scheduled for surgery at an L.A.-area hospital, the surgeon’s office called to postpone, citing a lack of availability of specialty equipment. Through tears, Borjas pleaded for an alternate solution. In what she calls an “act of God,” Borjas was referred to Dr. Dennis Holmes at Adventist Health Glendale.
Holmes, a world-class breast cancer surgeon renowned for his expertise and dedication to expedited patient care, is also the Medical Director of the Sam and Grace Carvajal Comprehensive Breast Center in Glendale.
When Holmes heard about Borjas’ plight, he was determined to act. He understood that time was of the essence and that every day without treatment was a day lost in the battle against cancer.
Less than 10 days after contacting Adventist Health Glendale, Borjas underwent surgery to remove the tumor, followed by cutting-edge intra-operative radiation therapy. Holmes led a multidisciplinary team of specialists who provided Borjas with the best care possible.
Today, Borjas stands as a symbol of triumph over adversity. Her experience underscores the need for skilled providers who are compassionate advocates for their patients.
In the face of insurmountable roadblocks, Borjas found hope, healing and a second chance at a healthy life, thanks to the dedication of Holmes. Her story serves as a reminder that health care should be about compassion, urgency and a relentless commitment to saving lives.
First published in the Oct. 26 issue of the San Marino Tribune