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Grateful Patients

#MyDukeCancerStory: Devoted Mother Creates Meaning From Mourning

We all hope our lives will count—that in some way we will make an indelible mark within our circles, our society and, perhaps, even beyond. But what happens when a promising young life is snuffed out much too soon? For Mary Woodall the unimaginable loss of her son, Christopher "Chris" Cash, at just...

#MyDukeCancerStory: A Fellow Traveler

In December two years ago, heating-and-air-conditioning repairman Jack Walker decided to stop for gas on his way to a Rotary Club meeting. The decision may have saved his life. Tina Escalona, a 51-year-old healthcare marketer, was staring up at the sky, nozzle in hand, when Walker first approached...

#MyDukeCancerStory: Woman of Steel

Roshanda “Wyndi” Smith, who runs a stainless-steel jewelry business, is living with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer — staying strong in spirit, even on her weakest days. She said she’s “realistic” about her future, having gone through “the five stages of grief” after she first learned, seven years...

#MyDukeCancerStory: Life After Loss Lands Cancer Activist Sunny-Side Up

Bob Norris was 70 when he was diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer 14 years ago. A smoker since serving in the U.S. Army in the ‘50s, he quit as soon as he got the news. Feeling lucky to be alive after surgery and chemotherapy, he gently, “without nagging,” implored his beloved wife, Bonnie, and...

Finding Comfort In A Cause

Some of Myles Owens IV’s fondest memories with his dad are on the family’s boat at Jordan Lake. When his dad passed away in 2015 after a hard- fought battle with prostate cancer, the family spread his ashes at the lake. “Originally doctors gave him 18 months, and he ended up making it eight years...

Escaping the Cancer Care Black Hole

People diagnosed with cancer enter a period of intense treatment at a cancer center, and it can seem to their primary care physicians that they have disappeared. The patient’s overall health can suffer as a result. Duke’s new Center for Onco-Primary Care aims to change that. At age 49, Stacey...

#MyDukeCancerStory: Safe and Cared For Close to Home

When 18 years ago Leslie Gartenberg and her husband, Adam, decided to move from New Jersey to North Carolina, one of their criteria was finding a home near good healthcare. “We wanted to make a life here,” said Gartenberg. “We were young, just married, and we thought, if, God forbid, anything ever...

Young Survivor Rebounds From Bladder Cancer

Ever since he was a young boy growing up in Virginia, Anthony Willard, 30, has been a fan of Duke men's basketball. As a young man, he imagined he might one day make the 3.5-hour drive south to Durham, North Carolina, to catch a game. He never expected that instead he’d be traveling to Duke for...

Charging the Bull: Brain Tumor Survivor Never Surrenders

If 43-year-old Gabe Stewart were a matador, he would likely be a bull’s worst enemy. Just ask his wife of 19 years, Tera, or his two kids, a 13-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son — they’ll testify to his stubborn refusal to be beaten, no matter what the odds. On May 3, 2010, Stewart was...

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