Dr. Maridee Randall, a dedicated primary care physician with Monroe County Hospital & Clinics in Albia, was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014. As a native of the area, she grew up in a small rural town and headed off to the University of Iowa for her medical schooling. Dr. Randall returned to rural Iowa at the family practice clinic in Albia in 1996. Being raised in a small rural community, she understood the unique health care struggles of her patients and that taking care of a patient meant at times you took care of the family too. As Dr. Randall embarked with a great health care challenge of her own, the community rallied to support her and give back some of the miraculous care she had provided to their families.
Her health care journey meant she became the patient, not a place she ever imagined herself. After all, she had dedicated her career to being the care provider. She has undergone radiation, chemotherapy and multiple surgeries. She currently is still battling stage 4 colon cancer, along with diagnosed lung cancer, numerous infections and procedure after procedure.
“Her patients trusted her to take care of them, she is a caretaker, and now she is the patient,” stated by Kendra Sinclair, the hospital’s director of rural health clinic operations. Dr. Randall’s patients adore her and are committed, along with Patti Graham, Dr. Randall’s clinic nurse. There were several instances where the question arose from both staff and community members, “What can we do for her?” This is when Graham and other staff came together, involved the community and planned a benefit for Dr. Randall.
In 2016, a benefit named “Rootin’ for Randall” was held. Festivities included a cheerleading competition, numerous skits, raffle, taco bar and auction. With more than 125 items donated, the auction alone raised over $50,000 going towards= Dr. Randall’s medical costs. There was an outstanding response from local businesses and community members! This event involved Dr. Randall’s family, hospital staff, Monroe County Public Health, Hy-Vee Pharmacyand an abundance of community members, all in support of Dr. Randall.
Dr. Randall’s passion was celebrated that evening and she was treated as the queen of the community. As a tribute to her alma mater, the Monroe County Hospital Medical Clinic produced a skit named “Help us Grow the Fund!” The words to the University of Iowa’s Fight Song were reworked as “Maridee’s Fight Song”:
The word is Root! Root! Root! for Marridee!
Let every loyal Albian sing;
The word is Root! Root! Root! for Marridee,
We’re bringing flowers in the spring (Go Doc!),
Come on and cheer, cheer, cheer for Marridee,
Come on and cheer we simply cannot be outdone;
The word is Root! Root! Root! for Marridee, until her fight is won!
The entire room filled with melodies and laughter that evening, as funds were raised after each competing skit.
Dr. Randall’s patients continue to this day to help her and her family. Not only do her patients care for her, but the community has fully supported her journey and continues to raise money and assist her and her family with meal delivery three times a week, weeding her garden and flower beds, yard work, cleaning her house and just simply being available for assistance for any task, physical or emotional.
“Dr. Randall is extremely down to earth, her patients adore her,” said Sinclair. “We continue to Root for Randall!”Share this story.