Why I Give 
Patient, family and friends raise money for St. Joseph's at birthday party

Sue Lindmeier and Dr. Hashimi

Sue Lindmeier, a long time resident of Arizona, knew her situation was serious when a local pulmonologist told her the only doctor who could handle the surgery she needed was at St Joseph’s hospital.  

Her concerns diminished within minutes of arriving at Dignity Health St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center when she met several team members of the Norton Thoracic Institute. Their confidence and kindness, she says, were the perfect combination to ease her fears. In September of 2015, Samad Hashimi, MD, Director of Robotic and Minimally Invasive Thoracic Surgery with NTI, and Persida Drotar, MD, a resident doing a rotation with NTI, successfully removed the tumors from the upper right lobe of her lung and right bronchial tube.  

The pathology determined the tumors to be metastatic uterine leiomyosarcoma, a rare form of sarcoma, which does not respond well to chemotherapy. Sue knew that should she have further metastasis, surgery would be her best line of defense. She again calmed her own concerns as well as those of her family and friends by knowing she had an amazing team of medical professionals at St. Joseph's, if more surgery was necessary. 

A year later, additional metastasis appeared in the lower lobes of Sue’s right lung, requiring a full pneumonectomy, which was successfully performed by Dr. Hashimi and his team. Recovery was challenging; however, thanks to the amazing care at St Joseph’s, Sue enjoyed water skiing just months after surgery.

Later in 2017, Sue faced more surgery to remove metastasis from her stomach and small bowel. She was pleasantly surprised when Dr. Drotar, the same doctor who assisted on her first surgery in 2015, was working in general surgery and would be assisting on her surgery again. This added to the comfort, care and consistency she experiences every time at St. Joseph's. 

“I often tell people how everyone at St Joe’s truly embraces their culture of humankindness, making me feel at home, safe and well cared for,” says Sue.

After a tough couple of years, Sue’s friends and family wanted to throw a birthday party for her. She was reluctant but eventually agreed, “provided the party is also a fundraiser for Norton Thoracic Institute.”  And that is what they did, raising $6000 to give back to the team that is helping her manage a persistent cancer.

“Cancer is confusing. The uncertainty and fear can be overwhelming,” says Sue. “Dr. Hashimi is my voice of reason and my quarterback. He guides me as I manage the options, always keeping quality of life at the forefront. I couldn’t be more grateful!”

Story written by Gretchyn Kaylor

Photo: Sue Lindmeier and Samad Hashimi, MD