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. Dress in Blue Day has meant so much to her and her family as they honor their father and fight back against this devastating disease.
patient stories News
Connecting with other cancer patients in a support group can decrease isolation, provide additional support, and help reduce stress, according to Lisa Gauchay, MSW, LCSW, a social worker at Huntsman Cancer Institute. Lisa runs a support group for patients with metastatic breast cancer. The group meets once a month, discussing different topics that include how to cope with grief, bucket list ideas, and the process of dying. Patients who participate in the support group often create lasting friendships by connecting with others who are going through similar experiences.
The Center of Excellence in Hematologic Malignancies and Hematology at Huntsman Cancer Institute is a group of more than three dozen doctors and scientists dedicated to hematologic cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. Integration and collaboration across disciplines will improve clinical care and advance research in these complicated diseases.
When family and friends wanted to show support for tongue cancer patient Jarem Hallows, they discovered the Huntsman Sports Festival, which includes the Huntsman 5K running and Huntsman 140 cycling events, and created a fundraising team in 2017. #TeamJarem raised more than $26,000, the largest gift of support ever received for the Head and Neck Cancers Disease Center.
HCI patient Clark Stringham felt like he was running out of time with his diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer. He credits a clinical trial and his oncologist, Neeraj Agarwal, MD, with saving his life.
Holly Hagerman, cancer survivor and co-chair of Pink Park City, has always found joy in being active in the mountains. When she stumbled into Pink Vail during a trip to celebrate healing from surgery, she knew she had to bring that joy back to Utah.
Neal Blair will be 80 in a few weeks. He recently retired from his work as a political consultant. Perhaps that doesn’t seem so remarkable. But in May 2016, Neal was diagnosed with pancreas cancer. Two and a half years later, he is NED—his follow-up tests show no evidence of disease. And that is remarkable.
Dan Nelson was diagnosed with stage IV brain cancer in 2016. As his caregiver, Dan's wife, Dianne, has been at his side throughout. She shares her perspective, which reveals the power of what it means to be a cancer caregiver and the hope that this role can bring to a loved one who receives a life-changing cancer diagnosis.
Patient and Huntsman Hero Dan Nelson set out to ride the 30-mile segment of the Huntsman 140 in spite of a terminal brain cancer diagnosis. When Dan wasn't sure he could make it up the last hill, his #DanStrong team of family and friends was there to push him to the top. In the hardest of times, Dan and his wife Dianne have never been alone.
John Karg was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer, early in 2016. His cancer care team at Huntsman Cancer Institute treated the cancer with surgery, radiation, oral chemotherapy, and participation in clinical trials. He’s doing very well with the treatment—his interview for this article happened while he was waiting for the lift lines at Alta ski resort.
When I was diagnosed with uterine sarcoma, behind all of the distress about treatment was an overwhelming feeling of disbelief that I was about to become infertile at age 28. But being able to retrieve and freeze my eggs before chemotherapy gave me back a little bit of the control I felt was lacking.
“Our perspective was to enjoy life no matter the circumstances. You find joy. Sometimes you have to search under the rug and in the closet, but there’s something to be happy about every day.”
The POWER Program (Personal Optimism with Exercise Recovery) gives a personalized exercise plan for cancer patients based on diagnosis, treatment type and phase, and fitness goals. For Farley Eskelson, it also gave him the chance to get back to the activities he loves.
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 went through cancer treatment and became an advocate for oral cancer awareness.
Christina Ratcliff enrolled in HCI's Total Cancer Care study, a partnership among patients, health care providers, and researchers to help accelerate cancer research and improve patient care.
For many of young people, a cancer diagnosis is their first real medical issue. This was the case for Marina Pimentel, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, at age 26. Marina worked with an AYA patient navigator to help her manage the complexities of cancer treatment and care.
Tommy Tanzer, a resident of Park City, Utah, received three negative prostate biopsies over the course of three years, but he and his doctors still suspected he may have cancer. Tommy then had an MRI-guided biopsy at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI), hoping there would be a more accurate result. Unfortunately, this biopsy did detect cancer. Fortunately, it was found early enough to treat.
"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."
In memoriam. 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.