Mari Baker, M.D.
SpecialtiesCancer SurvivorCare, Hematology
LocationsBloomington, Pekin, Peoria, Washington
Board Certifications:American Board of Emergency Medicine
Staff Education:Undergraduate: Valparaiso University; Valparaiso, IN
Double major: Biology and Chemistry
Minor: art history
Medical school: Southern Illinois University School of Medicine; Springfield, IL
Emergency Medicine Residency University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria
Chief resident 2005-2006
Family Information:My husband and I are recent empty-nesters and live in Morton. I have 2 children in college. We recently were “foster fails” to 2 small dogs, who have now officially joined our family alongside our other dog, cat and hedgehog.
Hobbies / Interests:Anything crafty that involves working with my hands. I've taught myself to crochet, sew, make jewelry, macrame. I enjoy photography workshops, especially those in National Parks that are focused on landscape. I've attended Texas Coffee School and for a short time ran a small coffee business out of a custom-built tiny home.
Why did you choose your field?I began my career in emergency medicine, a fast-paced field, but I particularly enjoyed being involved in patient care during their time of greatest vulnerability. After my own cancer journey, things have shifted, yet I'm still focused on patient care in their time of need. As I personally have experienced, once cancer treatment ends, the needs continue. I'm also currently working toward my certification in obesity medicine, helping to minimize the metabolic syndromes that increase one's risk of cancer.
Why did you choose Illinois CancerCare?My world was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with breast cancer after my very first screening mammography. I had no family history and no symptoms. It was a long, scary journey, but my team at Illinois CancerCare saw me through every step of the way. I was so grateful for the care I received. I then started to reflect on my own recovery and survivorship. I knew I needed to make some life changes, some very difficult, to aid in my healing process. I'm looking forward to continuing my own journey and helping you along your way as well.
Do you have any advice to give patients after they have been diagnosed with cancer?Give yourself some grace. Your body has been involved in a battle, and it takes time to recover. You don't always end up on the other side as the same person, and that's OK. In a busy world, there's always something to do. Don't forget to take care of yourself. And never underestimate the power of sleep!