Cancer patient stories

  1. Mother and Daughter Winning Battle With Cancer Despite Family History of the Disease

    Most of us have known someone with cancer, either in our family or with a friend or an acquaintance. But cancer can be particularly cruel when it seems to target a specific family over and over again. For the Zepeda family of Miami, cancer has stricken a mother, her daughter, a number of other family [...]

  2. A Golden Dream

    After being diagnosed with cancer, Joan Hittner, along with her husband, David, created an organization to raise money to find a cure. Today, David and daughter Christine continue the work. In 2011, Joan and David Hittner opened a letter from the Mayo Clinic Department of Development. Inside was a request: Would they consider donating $25 [...]

  3. Rallying Around 'Jack' – Buying Time for 11-Year-Old Who Touched the Hearts of His Care Team

    He melts hearts with his infectious smile, cheerful attitude and frequent magic tricks. But the slogan on Haonan Jiang's T-shirt, which reads "Tough as Nails," is a more accurate summation of his spirit, and the fight he and his family have been waging. The 11-year-old from Beijing, China, prefers to be called "Jack." He is suffering from [...]

  4. Patient's Cancer Journey Inspires Hope and a New Career Path

    Kristen Yukness knew what her doctor was going to say next. After a finding of bilateral deep vein thrombosis after a routine flight, Kristen had a strong feeling – based on her family history – that her condition had been caused by an underlying form of cancer.  She was right. She learned that her venous issues were [...]

  5. Gut Feeling, Being in Right Place May Have Saved Lynn Witherspoon

    When Lynn Witherspoon was diagnosed with breast cancer, she wanted to move quickly. And she wanted to move to a place she felt would give her the care she needed. So she and her husband moved from their home in North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida, to be near Mayo Clinic's Florida campus. "We live in [...]

  6. Cindy

    To Life (again) as a Two-Time Cancer Survivor

    I’m walking a fine line between jubilation and anxiety. As a two-time ovarian cancer survivor, I’m nearing the anniversary of my recurrence. Although I feel fine, this type of cancer isn’t the most accommodating. My nerves always manage to creep up on my dates with the ‘gists – in my case, the oncologist and gynecologist, which [...]

  7. Recovery Turns Into Cancer Battle for Avid Runner

    An avid runner, Judi Zitiello, 66, was forced into a six-week hiatus when she developed a meniscus tear in early 2014. The retired financial executive was always active – exercising, hosting dinner parties, and volunteering to run the JT Townsend Foundation, a Jacksonville, Florida, philanthropic organization. Judi wasn’t too concerned about the downtime at first. She knew her body [...]

  8. Walking by Faith, and Now by Sight

    In many ways, Jenny Peterson was like other mothers of young children. She cooked and baked, cleaned and washed clothes, and cheered her children on from the sidelines of their activities. In one significant way, though, Jenny was different: She did all of these things without sight. Jenny lost her vision in 1976, after having [...]

  9. Breaking Away From Pain With the Help of 'The Scrambler'

    Participating in a clinical trial gave Karen Safranek a solution to her decade-long struggle with peripheral neuropathy  Karen Safranek didn't take a worry-free step for 10 years. Severe peripheral neuropathy — a side effect of breast cancer treatment she received in 2002 — left her with constant burning, tingling, numbness and pain in both her [...]

  10. From 'Shock' to Hope – Young Woman Shares Her Breast Cancer Journey

    In her early 30s and with “a wonderful child, wonderful husband and a great career,” Dawn DeCook-Gibson says the last thing she expected was a breast cancer diagnosis. Following the initial shock of the news, Dawn, from Chandler, Arizona, sought out doctors at Mayo Clinic and was guided through her treatment and recovery by Donald [...]

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