"My Virginia Mason family" is how Dana Manciagli, 55, describes her health care team at the Issaquah and Seattle medical centers. "I know I have a lot of people looking out for me," says Dana, who became a Virginia Mason patient in 1998 after she moved to the area from the East Coast.
Dana was referred to her primary care physician by a friend and she "liked the Issaquah team right away and that has never changed." When her health issues began in 2002, the bond with her Virginia Mason caregivers only grew stronger. In good health all her life, Dana had a routine mammogram that year, followed by an ultrasound to further examine an area of concern. This was followed by a biopsy at Virginia Mason's Breast Clinic, in Seattle, that confirmed what Dana's primary care doctor suspected. Dana had cancer. She was quickly seen by Virginia Mason specialists for a lumpectomy and radiation therapy. The operation and follow-up care, which Dana describes as "the best," appeared to eradicate the cancer.
It was, however, the beginning of what continues to be an ongoing battle for Dana. After her bout with cancer, a genetic counselor at Virginia Mason found that she carried the BRCA gene. This meant that Dana and her identical twin, Tracy, were at continued high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. In 2005, Tracy was diagnosed with breast cancer. Both she and Dana had double mastectomies that year and their ovaries removed as a precaution.
Tracy's cancer returned and took her life in 2014 and cancer was detected in Dana for the third time in early 2015. Her treatment at Virginia Mason has included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Dana says, despite everything, she keeps her focus on the positive. "I have the best of the best looking after me and I feel great."
“I have the best of the best looking after me and I feel great.”
Today, with the constant monitoring of her primary care physician and Virginia Mason specialists, Dana is focused on "living her legacy rather than leaving it." Last year, she was the biggest fundraiser in the American Cancer Society's "Making Strides Against Breast Cancer" event and she is an active fundraiser for Virginia Mason's Cancer Institute, as well.
Dana continues to work as a global career coach, author and professional speaker. She got married this year and is planning to travel with her husband, mother, adult sons and twin sister Tracy's son to Mexico as soon as she finishes her current course of radiation therapy.
To learn more about Dana, go to www.DanaManciagli.com. To get help finding a Virginia Mason primary care physician, call us at (206) 223-6881.