Celebration Bell rings loudly for Ionia cancer patients

Published: Jan. 5, 2017

IONIA, MI – People take notice and celebrate when the bell rings at Sparrow Ionia Hospital’s Specialty Infusion/Visiting Physicians Clinic – it means another cancer Patient has completed treatment and is beginning a whole new chapter in their life.

The “Celebration Bell” was donated to the unit by Kelli Weeks, 39, of Saranac, who completed her chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer in August. Weeks said her initial diagnosis – especially at such a young age – was a “devastating shock.”

But by the time she underwent surgery at the Sparrow Cancer Center in Lansing and completed her chemotherapy treatments at the Sparrow Ionia Infusion Clinic, she was ready to make a statement of defiance, strength, courage and survivorship.

After reading about celebration bells at other hospitals, she said, “I’m buying a bell and leaving it for the next guy.”

“I want that bell to ring constantly,” Weeks said. “I want cancer to be eliminated. By the time that bell rings, another cancer cell dies.”

Lisa Sinko, RN, Manager of the clinic, said the sound of the bell means “there is hope and there is celebration.” That celebration includes cake and balloons, too.

The Ionia clinic treats about 2,500 Patients a year.

Weeks admits she was “pretty much spinning” when she learned her diagnosis, but after meeting the Sparrow cancer team, she knew she was in good hands. “I said, ‘I got this.’”

The bell is her way of telling other Patients they “got this,” too.

Choose Wisely. Choose Sparrow.