Colombian native Ligia Pineda has been treated by clinicians at VIM Berkshires for at least eight years. She lives in Pittsfield and heard about VIM’s services from family members who are also patients at the clinic. Pineda worked in housekeeping at a local resort but did not have health insurance.
“My husband and I came here from Colombia and a cousin referred us,” said Lijia in a recent interview, translated by volunteer Estella Bodnar. “My family has been very happy with the medical care here.”
Sixty-seven year old Lijia had been getting acupuncture treatments for her osteoarthritis at VIM when she suddenly experienced a more serious health care challenge.
“I came in and told my doctor that my stomach didn’t feel right,” said Pineda. “He examined me and felt something. Then I was sent to the hospital for an ultrasound.”
After a series of diagnostic tests, Pineda was told she had cancer of the stomach. She needed surgery, so VIM arranged for a specialist to see her at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in Worcester.
“I had the surgery and I’ve been recovering for several months now,” said Pineda. “I am very thankful to VIM and to God that I am feeling much better. I feel very good now.”
Pineda said that she is having virtually no side effects from her recent treatment. She hopes that others dealing with cancer and other serious illness can stay optimistic.
“People should be positive,” said Pineda. “Help and people who really care are here for you.”