Ronald Williams battled alcoholism before being diagnosed with lymphoma. Through his struggles, he has found strength in a higher power and satisfaction in volunteering his time helping other patients as they go through therapy. "I guarantee you," he says of the Lord, "he'll come through, he'll pull you through this mess." Click below to hear his story.
Marcia Donziger was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 27. During treatment, it was challenging to keep her family and family informed about her progress. Marcia created MyLifeLine.org, a nonprofit organization that encourages cancer patients and caregivers to create free, customized websites and build an online support community to foster connection, inspiration, and healing. Click below to hear her story.
Krist Schmitt Burr has Basal Cell Carcinoma Nevus Syndrome (BCCNS), a rare genetic disorder that affects the way the body grows and may lead to various forms of cancer, especially basal cell carcinoma, a form of skin cancer. After having two affected children, Kristi founded the Basal Cell Carcinoma Nevus Syndrome Life Support Network, the only organization in North America dedicated to supporting families with BCCNS. Click below to hear her story.
Robyn Stoller's husband was diagnosed with cancer as a young man. During their battle, Robyn and her husband learned about dozens of groups whose purpose is to help cancer patients and their caregivers on their journey. However, because there was no centralized guide to these cancer organizations, finding them could be as challenging and confusing as the disease itself. After her husband's death, Robyn created CancerHAWK, a blog that helps patients and families navigate and access vital information and resources. Click below to hear her story.
Rochelle Shoretz was first diagnosed with breast cancer at age 28, and then with stage IV breast cancer at age 37. She is the founder and executive director of Sharsheret, a national non-profit organization that provides support and resources to young Jewish women and their families facing breast cancer. Despite the sadness her experience with cancer may have brought her loved ones, Shoretz says cancer gave her an opportunity to do what she loves and put her skills to use for an amazing cause. "When I reflect on my own life, because of what I've done with cancer, I've had it all," she says. Shoretz believes the impact of the cancer community is great and feels privileged to be part of that voice. Click below to hear her story.
In 2009, while studying at Johns Hopkins University, Tao Wang, now age 40, was diagnosed with stage one breast cancer. After diagnosis, she began to focus on helping other patients with some of the questions she, herself, faced during treatment. "Somehow, I want to make a difference in my life," she says. Now Wang volunteers in the "Survivors Helping Survivors" program at Hopkins. She especially likes discussing treatment options with newly diagnosed cancer patients. "Life is deeper now anyway," she says. "I now will do work in a different way." Click below to hear her story.
Julie Thomas's connection with breast cancer began in the late 1980s when her friend was diagnosed. That friend survived, but when she lost another friend to the disease in the early 1990's, Julie decided to take action. She started by participating in Komen events and Avon walks but she wanted to do more. Recently, with the help of Johns Hopkins, she has given her own breast tissue for use in cancer research. "If you connect with people, then you connect with them and their pain and in their suffering," she says. "That's what led me, certainly, to do something about this disease." Click below to hear her story.
Elaine Everett survived a stage one breast cancer diagnosis. She has been a volunteer with the Johns Hopkins Breast Center for eleven years. She says the disease left her with a gift--being part of the Johns Hopkins family as a volunteer. Elaine now raises funds for research and helps other women--including the underprivileged--face the challenges of their disease. "I would not be involved with any of this if I had not had breast cancer. So that's the gift it gave me. And for that, I'm very thankful.". Click below to hear her story.
Several years after Annie Applegarth battled sarcoma, she joined the Mermaids, a group that participates in Swim Across America, an event that raises money for cancer research. Before her diagnosis she had never spent much time in the water. Now her friends and family cheer as she finishes up a mile. Click below to hear her story.
Jennifer is a young woman who has battled three different cancers. At age 27 - two years after surviving her first bout with breast cancer - Jennifer realized she had been "plodding along" in a relationship with her husband in which her wellbeing was not a priority. "I think it was the cancer that was kind of the kick in the pants that I needed," she says. "So I had a husband-ectomy." These days, she chooses to focus not on stress but on what she has that others may lack. "I get to come home to my family every night and tuck my kids into bed and there's a lot of other people I've met along the way that don't get to do that." Click below to hear her story.