New bell at Prairie Lakes Cancer Center cause for celebration

In Watertown, cancer patients will now have a bell of their own to ring to celebrate milestones.
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 11:25 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - It’s become a moment of celebration at hospitals and cancers centers around the country; ringing a bell to mark the end of cancer treatment. In Watertown, cancer patients will now have a bell of their own to ring to celebrate milestones.

The bell comes after a donation from the Prairie Lakes Foundation, making it’s way to Watertown earlier this week.

“We really wanted to signify that celebration, and let them know that they’re not alone. That we’re here to help them. We’re just really proud to have been asked. We’re excited to have this for all of the cancer patients.” said Prairie Lakes Foundation Executive Director Lisa Dahl.

While the center has been treating cancer patients since it opened in 1999, it’s a natural addition to help raise spirits for patients and staff.

“Each patient has their own story to tell, and their own milestone that they want to celebrate.” said Prairie Lakes Cancer Center Director Jennifer Pletan.

Once installed, it made an impact immediately. Radiation and Oncology RN Kim Michalski said the bell has already given patients another reason to look forward to treatment and raise spirits.

“It really gives patients a reason to celebrate their day. Whether it be good scans, completion of radiation or chemotherapy.” said Michalski.

For the staff, it’s also a sign of the work done by them to help heal others.

“I hear that bell when I’m sitting in my office. Two people rang it today. And we immediately stop what we’re doing, if we can. Come out and we’re clapping our hands. They ring the bell, and it’s really a celebration.” said Michalski.

Pletan said they had their first ring of the bell already Wednesday, the day it was installed. And they hope to hear it ring plenty more in the days, weeks, and years to come.

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