Patient Stories Posts

Partners All the Way

Partners All the Way

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.

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pancreas cancer, patient stories

Living a More Purposeful Life

Living a More Purposeful Life

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.

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sarcoma, aya cancer, patient stories

For Gold Medalist Summer Sanders, Knowledge is Power

For Gold Medalist Summer Sanders, Knowledge is Power

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.

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melanoma, skin cancer, sun safety, cancer prevention, patient stories

Raising Awareness while Honoring My Father's Memory

Raising Awareness while Honoring My Father's Memory

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.

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colorectal cancer, patient stories

Twice a Survivor
Cancer Champions

Twice a Survivor

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.

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breast cancer, melanoma, patient stories, skin cancer

The Art and Science of Clinical Research Coordination
Cancer Champions

The Art and Science of Clinical Research Coordination

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.

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clinical trials, patient stories

 Cancer Champion: Jeff Warren

Cancer Champion: Jeff Warren

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.”

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patient stories, head and neck cancer, fundraising events