"One thing is for sure: cancer will affect your life... and the only way we're going to find a cure is by supporting research."
Patient Stories Posts
Tom Kursar and his wife, Lissy Coley, are used to working with each other as co-leaders of a research group in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah. So when Tom was diagnosed with pancreas cancer, the couple faced the disease together.
Just three weeks after their wedding in 2007, newlyweds Dan and Melanie Hedlund were in for some startling news—Dan had osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
After Emma Houston learned she had breast cancer, the first thing she did was go shopping to buy red three-inch high heels. The shoes became as much a hallmark of her cancer journey as her humor and positive outlook.
Support groups and special retreats are helpful for many people with cancer. Merica Hale found a healing place to relax and meet women diagnosed with breast cancer who could offer each other support.
After being diagnosed and treated for ovarian cancer, obstetrician Janice Byrne was determined to make a difference for others facing the same disease. Now, she advocates to increase education and awareness about ovarian cancer and provide support to newly diagnosed patients.
When I was a teenager, the HPV vaccine did not exist. I wish it had; I would have been grateful for its protection. And I have news for you, HPV. You messed with the wrong woman.
In the short time between Ken Selden’s cancer diagnosis and the end of his treatment, he and his wife, Julieann, went through a lifetime’s worth of grief, fear, pain, hope, and joy. In return, they’ve earned a lifetime’s worth of wisdom. After what the young couple call the worst trial they’ve ever faced, Julieann and Ken say they now live a more purposeful life.
Growing up in Roseville, California, Olympic gold medalist Summer Sanders spent every waking hour playing and training outside in the water—usually without sunscreen. “I associated sunscreen with vacation, not training,” Sanders says. Then, in 2014, she was diagnosed with melanoma. No one can say for sure what caused Sanders’ melanoma, but she thinks her frequent exposure to the sun was a contributing factor.
Taryn Palmer lost her father to stage IV colorectal cancer. As she and her family tried to find some way to reconcile their grief with celebrating his life, Taryn discovered Dress in Blue Day, a way to increase awareness about colon cancer risk and encourage early screening. She talks about what Dress in Blue Day has meant to her and her family as they honor their father and fight back against this devastating disease.
When Kiera Jorgensen was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 19, she fought not only sarcoma, but also a deadly mystery that had loomed over her family for generations. Now years out of treatment, Kiera has answers and is conducting research to help families like hers better understand a rare genetic mutation.
Rebecca Ward went to the dentist for a routine check-up and ended up with a startling diagnosis: oral cancer. After that initial shock, Rebecca endured cancer treatment and went on to become an advocate for oral cancer awareness.
If you watch the CBS TV show The Amazing Race, you may recognize me as the winner of Season 24. But before I even began that incredible challenge, I had already endured another challenge—testicular cancer.
Chad Wright knows he is fortunate when it comes to his experience with pancreas cancer. Most pancreas cancer is diagnosed at a much less treatable, much less curable stage. And that is exactly why he wants to share his story.
Mary Chamberlain had completed treatment for one type of cancer, melanoma, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She talks about her journey with both cancers, including how she got through chemotherapy when she thought her body couldn’t take it anymore.
Walking into clinic, I found the patient and his wife looking tired and apprehensive. From what I knew of his medical history, his cancer had not responded to any standard treatments, each drug failing to restrain the tumor’s advance for more than a few months. The patient and his wife had talked to their local cancer doctor about clinical trials, had traveled hundreds of miles to Huntsman Cancer Institute, and were clearly anxious to begin the discussion.
The day after Christmas in the year 2000, Jeff Warren received devastating news: he had stage IV head and neck cancer, which gave him—at best—a 25% chance to live five years. His radiation oncologist could see Jeff struggling with the diagnosis. The physician wrote down his home phone number and gave it to Jeff, saying, “If there’s anything you need, anytime, call me. I’m here for you.” That moment made an impression on Jeff. He says, “I realized I was working with a physician who felt he and his institution had some skin in the game. It wasn’t just that I was a patient, or a number, or one of the many. To him I was an individual.”
Nicole Anderson has something to tell you when it comes to your medical treatment: “You’re the one paying for your health care. It’s okay to say ‘I’m not okay with that option’ or ‘I think we need to look into this option.’ Always be an advocate for yourself.”