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Mom and Daughter Share Love for Patients
​​Kimie Morris (left) decided to work at WellStar Paulding Hospital after feeling inspired by the way this team treated her mom, Tracy Drake, when she had cancer. Tracy has been a team member since 2011. “My first thought was that I was going to beat it,” she said. “And I have beat it.”​​​​

Tracy Drake made the toughest phone call of her life to her daughter Kimie Morris. The mother of two had been just diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, where it has spread beyond the tumor to nearby lymph nodes and muscles.

This wasn’t Tracy’s first visit to Paulding Hospital. She has been a care partner here since 2011 and WellStar always felt like home.

“I was born at WellStar Kennestone Hospital, and my daughters were born at Cobb Hospital,” she said.

When choosing where to receive care, she wanted to be treated right here, close to friends and the work-family she loved so much.

“You have some days where everything seems lost. To have these nurses and doctors here, treating me like family, felt very special,” Tracy said.

Tracy’s treatment was successful – she is now two years cancer-free – and allowed her to live a special moment when Kimie got married in 2017.
“It was one of the happiest days of my life, and I was so glad I could be there with my daughter,” she said.

Tracy is now going to nursing school. She wants to become a breast cancer nurse navigator, inspired by her navigator, Maureen Lavelle, a certified oncology nurse.

“Maureen helped me so much. I’d have been lost without her,” Tracy said.

Nurse navigators at WellStar support patients and their families from the initial diagnosis through post-treatment follow up. On top of this guidance, the navigator often acts as an invaluable source of emotional support.

Working Together

Kimie has just become part of the WellStar family in February as a care partner herself, inspired by the way the Paulding team treated her mom.

“I came with my mom to every consult and most of the radiation sessions,” she said. “The entire team showed compassion. They were always there for support and became like family,” Kimie said.

She went through her CNA class with CPR and began working at a nursing home, and eventually moved to a pediatric office in 2015, but she never gave up a dream to work alongside her mom.

Tracy and Kimie rejoice the opportunity to drive to work and have lunch together whenever their rotations allow. These are precious moments they never take for granted.

“This Mother’s Day enjoy time with your family. Spend quality time with them, put the cell phones down. Because you never know what tomorrow brings,” Tracy said.​