Our Advocates & Their Stories

Millions of people are diagnosed with cancer every year, and every patient has a story to tell.

Here you will find REAL stories from patients treated in the community oncology setting that particularly inspired us.

Hopefully, they will inspire you too.

Bone Marrow Cancer

  • Terry P.

    On November 22, 2004, Dr. Harold Mandell, a hematologist at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Fort Worth, Texas, looked Terry Purdom in the eye and told him he had Multiple Myeloma, a relatively rare and incurable bone marrow cancer. Terry looked back at the doctor and smiled. .....

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Breast Cancer

  • Betty A.

    In June 2011, Betty Apt, then 62 years old, went for a routine mammogram. She was called back in for additional tests, and ultimately diagnosed in July with Stage 2 breast cancer. “Fortunately for me, I had two friends who had gone through breast cancer a couple of years earlier, .....

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  • Emma S.

    In 2013, on her 61st birthday, Emma Sinkfield became the fourth sister in her family to be diagnosed with cancer. Over the next year of her treatment, a fifth sister was also diagnosed. Emma’s was HER2-Positive breast cancer; a relatively rare condition that indicates the presence of certain proteins that .....

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  • Patrica T.

    I am one of the lucky ones. My tumor was suspected and confirmed through the efforts of my trusted gynecologist, whom I had been seeing for decades. Small tumor, stage one…best case scenario. I was directed to Northwest Georgia Oncology Center In Kennesaw Georgia. I can still hear my doctor’s .....

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Caregiver

  • Don T.

    My wife, Pat, was diagnosed in 2004 with early-stage breast cancer; began treatment in early 2005 at Northwest Georgia Oncology Center. During this time, my career job of thirty years came unexpectedly to an end. Although I may have been unemotionally available for a few weeks, I was able to .....

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  • Sara P.

    My husband Thomas was diagnosed 12 years ago with ductal carcinoma. After having a mastectomy, cancer invasion has reoccurred in four different areas. It has been very difficult each time but with a lot of prayers, the wonderful support of his outstanding doctor, Don Shaffer, and the staff at Northwest .....

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Colon Cancer

  • Enrique Y.

    After having been a supporter and caregiver to my wife Carrie, I too was thrown into this fight after my diagnosis and having experienced her journey at NorthShore Hematology Oncology Associates (NSHOA) I knew that’s where I was going to be cared for and treated. Their attention to our needs .....

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  • Joseph W.

    My name is Joseph, I am 41 years old and I have Colorectal Cancer.  In November 2010 I noticed some blood on my stool.  I went home and got on the internet and typed in my symptoms and decided that I have diverticulitis, so I stopped eating nuts.  The symptoms .....

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  • Marissa R.

    As an administrator of a community oncology group practice for over a decade and a 3-year cancer survivor, having firsthand experience from the provider and patient side is an opportunity to make a difference.  I was in my 30s and raising 2 small kids when I started working in oncology.  .....

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Esophageal Cancer

  • Jerrold S.

    When Jerrold Silverman hit his early 40s, he knew his lifestyle had to change. A sedentary smoker with poor eating habits and a family history of heart disease, continuing down this path would likely result in never getting to know his grandchildren. He threw away his cigarettes, began a rigorous .....

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Lung Cancer

  • James G.

    In May of 2016, James Gaines, then 56, went for a routine physical. Looking over James’ history of long-term smoking, the doctor recommended he go for a lung CT. A few days later, the doctor called to say they had found something on the scan – it is best to .....

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  • Lisa G.

    Being married to a long-time smoker, Lisa Gaines naturally harbored concerns for her husband’s health. So in May 2016, she scheduled James for a routine physical, and soon after, he was diagnosed with small-cell lung cancer. Lisa flew into action, locating a highly-recommended oncologist, Dr. Mark A. Marinella, who agreed .....

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  • Terry P.

    On November 22, 2004, Dr. Harold Mandell, a hematologist at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Fort Worth, Texas, looked Terry Purdom in the eye and told him he had Multiple Myeloma, a relatively rare and incurable bone marrow cancer. Terry looked back at the doctor and smiled. .....

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Lymphoma

  • Venus C.

    I began working as a registered nurse with Tennessee Oncology in December 2014. Throughout 2015, I began experiencing many unexplained symptoms (night sweats, weight loss, frequent illness, anemia, etc). After performing a self-exam, I discovered a new and unexplained lump/knot/lymph node in my lower neck region. The day after the .....

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Multiple Cancers

  • Diane W.

    Hi, my name is Diane and since 1985 I have been a Cancer Conqueror.  Yes, I know the common term is Survivor but I don’t believe I’m that. I fought all 9 and won.  I’m not in denial, I know that one of them is going to take me down but .....

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  • John D.

    I have been looked after by these wonderful folks at Northwest Medical Specialties for the last 5 or 6 years. Receiving my treatment and follow-up as I am now in remission. Their care and concern for me are tremendous. I really appreciate their help and guidance in these trying times. .....

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Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

  • Marcia D.

    Hello, my name is Marcia D'Aprile, I'm a 60-year-old female with Mantle Cell Lymphoma. My story began in 2020 when I felt a small lump in my left groin but it seemed so small that I was doubting it was anything because it seemed so small. Fast forward, months later .....

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  • Sandy L.

    Thirty years ago, Sandy Lachman, a 45-year-old elementary school vice principal, and teacher found a lump on her thyroid. She made all the rounds, seeing doctors and having a series of scans. Then, following the doctors’ recommendations, she had her thyroid removed – as a preventative measure, she assumed. Ten .....

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  • Kathy S.

    The biopsy through my lung revealed diffuse large B cell lymphoma.  Night sweats, weight loss, and a non-productive cough…it all made sense to the oncologist, but not to me. Why me? Why now? I was anxious to get started on chemotherapy to send the alien packing. Nausea, hair loss, and .....

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Ovarian Cancer

  • Arlene C.

    I was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer in January 2018. Dr. Robert Wenham performed debulking surgery at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, he is also an oncologist. I intended to have him be my oncologist. Traveling to Tampa was extremely stressful but I was willing to do it. Dr. .....

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Pancreatic Cancer

  • Rob R.

    Rob Rutigliano was a happily married father of three. With a doctorate in molecular genetics and biology, he had worked for nearly 20 years in the field of cancer, from performing lab research to heading up a center that matches cancer patients with clinical trials. One afternoon, Rob found a .....

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Prostate Cancer

  • Randy M.

    I never thought that I would have cancer. I knew that many people will have cancer in their lives, but I never really thought that it would come to me. After the shock of the diagnosis, I firmly committed to beating it and becoming a survivor. I guess that my .....

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Rectal Cancer

  • Ronnie S.

    Hello, my name is Ronnie Sanders. I was diagnosed with stage 4 rectal cancer with mets to the liver in May 2022. I am still alive and I am a fighter! There are ups and there are some downs as well. Make sure you have a super awesome support system, .....

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