Patient Testimonial- Mary LeBlanc (Rheumatology)

At 63, Mary LeBlanc, a recent retiree, was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis after she awoke with sharp pain and numbness in her feet. Mary immediately met with a physician who told her she would be permanently wheel-chair bound within five years. Mary decided to obtain a second opinion and is glad she did.

For over 15 years, Mary has been seeing Katherine Upchurch, MD, clinical chair of Rheumatology at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Mary can’t say enough good things about the care and treatment Dr. Upchurch has provided her.

Upon her initial meeting with Dr. Upchurch, Mary has been on an aggressive treatment path and says medications are normally changed every two years to obtain maximum results and take advantage of new treatment options for this auto-immune disease. Mary and Dr. Upchurch work as a team, deciding which treatment options to try based on possible side effects, and balancing all considerations. Mary says it is “like walking on a tightrope”.

Mary is now taking infusion medications and is still able to live an active lifestyle. She hikes, bikes and travels often, and credits Dr. Upchurch and the UMass Memorial staff for giving her high quality of care.