Determined patient gets a third chance at life

At 15, Kayla Brown was a normal teenager with normal priorities: friends, high school, and extra-curricular activities, especially soccer. She trained year-round and never let anything get in the way of her athletic performance. So when she started to spend more time on the sidelines recovering from leg pain than playing on the field, her…

Cancer patient’s experience inspires him to give back to his community

John Cain’s sole focus was always work. Even when he began experiencing crippling pain out of nowhere in 2003, he remained focused on his computer software services company, not accepting that things were progressively getting worse. After almost a year, John finally went to see his doctor. The visit revealed that his pain was a…

For those about to rock – leukemia patient Nixon Clarke salutes you

“Nixon’s probably a bigger AC/DC fan than me,” says Hamilton Clarke, 9-years-old. “I’m trying to convince him there are other bands that are good.” But to Nixon Clarke, no one beats AC/DC. The 7-year-old, being treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund Clinic in Boston, named his IV pole “Angus”…

How an aspiring nurse dealt with being on the other side of care

Life was full of uncertainty for 27-year-old Christina Crespi as she battled what seemed to be a never-ending, unknown illness. As extreme fatigue and weakness persisted, and her independence dwindled, she started to feel as if she was losing a grip on her life. Finally, after a year and a half of doctor’s appointments, Christina…

Dedicated couple supports cancer research with estate

Hank Fitzgerald was a healthy, active grandfather of six, so it came as a shock to him and his family when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Being familiar with the Longwood Medical Area – receiving much of his general care there and having four of his grandchildren born in a nearby hospital – Hank…

Because of you, I am healthy

I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukemia at the age of 20. For me, the hardest part about hearing ‘you have cancer’ was having to deal with the thought that I might have to sacrifice important moments in my life because of my diagnosis. As a part of my cancer treatment, I underwent a lifesaving…

Coping with grief after a spouse’s death: Rosemary’s story

Rosemary felt suddenly adrift when her husband, Jim, died from stage IV pancreatic cancer. The couple were together since high school, and Rosemary found herself alone for the first time in her life. “After he died, I was truly in a fog,” Rosemary said. In the immediate wake of his passing, she leaned on family…

Bride vows to continue brother’s fight against colorectal cancer

Robin O’Neill was looking forward to her dream destination wedding in Mexico when her older brother, Vannarin “Vann” Ly, learned his stage IV colorectal cancer became resistant to treatment. His doctor, Kimmie Ng, MD, MPH, director of Dana-Farber’s new Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center, told the family that Vann likely only had weeks left to live…

Family supports brain tumor research—and their daughter—by golfing

In March 2007, the Hamilton family was eagerly awaiting a big moment: Rick Hamilton was about to return home from an Air Force tour in Baghdad, and the family was looking forward to reuniting on a trip to Florida. His 6-year-old daughter, Caroline, had her own milestone to look forward to: graduating kindergarten. But life…