Breast cancer survivor credits California Hospital for saving her life 

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we introduce you to survivor Kathleen Maguire who credits Dignity Health – California Hospital Medical Center for saving her life after a devastating diagnosis in 2019. Today, grateful for the proactive care and humankindness she received, Kathleen pledging to support the new patient tower. 

Kathleen Maguire standing in the lobby of the Los Angeles Center for Women's Health at CHMC

When downtown Los Angeles resident Kathleen Maguire felt a lump in her breast, she knew something was wrong and feared it was cancer. While touring Dignity Health – California Hospital Medical Center (CHMC)’s facilities, she asked medical staff if they could schedule her for a STAT mammogram after struggling to get appointments with other care providers. She was promptly scheduled at The Los Angeles Center for Women’s Health at CHMC within a few days. After reviewing her results, CHMC staff kept her to perform an ultrasound.

After spotting something suspicious during the ultrasound, the care team insisted on reviewing all of Kathleen’s previous medical records—even assisting her with obtaining her records from four other providers to compare results—and came to a conclusion that a biopsy was necessary. Staff then scheduled Kathleen for a biopsy; however, she suffered a foot compound fracture that delayed her from doing the biopsies for over four months. As soon as she could walk, she underwent the additional biopsies in March 2019, which confirmed that she had stage I breast cancer. She was immediately scheduled for surgery. 

“Dignity Health - California Hospital Medical Center caught what other care providers missed,” says Kathleen. Today, she credits CHMC for being proactive in her care and providing life-saving treatment. 

On May 7, 2019, under the care of radiation oncologist Dr. Bernard Lewinsky, Kathleen underwent intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT)—a procedure that delivers a targeted dose of radiation immediately after surgical removal of the cancer—as well as a double partial mastectomy, effectively removing her cancer in one visit (compared to receiving radiation treatments over the course of multiple, separate sessions), reducing her recovery time and preventing another surgery.

“Today, I am cancer free and doing well,” Kathleen says. “I’m so grateful to receive such efficient and thorough care at California Hospital. I felt like a whole person after my surgery and was able to go on with my life.” She intends on showing her gratitude for the care and humankindness she received by making a donation for a personalized tile that will be installed in a garden walkway outside of the new patient tower opening in 2023

The Los Angeles Center for Women’s Health at CHMC offers a range of health services including prevention and wellness care, treatment and specialized care through every stage of life. The center offers a comprehensive range of breast health services with a nationally recognized team of doctors. 

Give today to reserve your personalized tile and ensure that CHMC continues to deliver compassionate, high quality and affordable health care services for everyone in our community.

“I support CHMC because they proactively managed my care and I realize how vital their services are,” she says. “It is not only my neighborhood hospital, it is my hospital of choice.” 


Watch Kathleen's story

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