Message of Hope with Dr. Diana Londoño
City of Hope’s Dr. Diana Londoño’s interest in urology comes from seeing her father struggle with this condition. Since then she has aimed to connect with the Latino community to provide top health care and prevention.
Having suffered a life-altering loss in her family, Urology Specialist, Dr. Diana Londoño is helping spread a message of hope to patients with similar ailments.
In the Latino community we have become accustomed to how easily one’s life can suddenly be uprooted and destiny changed from one day to the next. Dr. Diana Londoño underwent such a life-altering experience during a visit to her father in Mexico. Born in Mexico City, Londoño moved to the U.S. when her parents separated at the age of 12. During her formative years she was involved in the student council and took on many leadership roles. Her undergrad education was focused on government and she planned a career in politics.
On an annual trip visiting her father back in Mexico, however she noticed a dramatic change in his health that would impact her perspective and career purpose.
While he would usually be in in peak physical condition, proud and almost “vainly” eager to express the stereotypical Latino attitude, he was now in a wheelchair barely able to attend to his daughter and even a bit ashamed at his own condition like any typical father. Unfortunately, his prostate cancer quickly metastasized in a way that is “rare nowadays with early screening” and which people can easily avoid and live well over their 60’s. Londoño decided to seek a career in medicine focusing on similar diseases to prevent this from happening to others.
Dr. Londoño is currently a part of the City of Hope’s research initiative to educate local Latino communities and potential medical students in the field. She feels there “is a lot of miseducation and taboos” that people develop due to language barriers. For example, earlier in her career she worked in Miami’s Little Havana where 90% of the patients were Spanish-speaking. The number of Spanish-speaking doctors here and abroad is limited and so it is difficult to translate important health information. Overall, Londoño’s goal at City of Hope is to help enhance people’s quality of life through compassion and communication maintaining their dignity despite cultural differences.