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My Duke Cancer Story

#MyDukeCancerStory: I’m Glad You Asked…

In 1956, long before Patrick Plumeri was born, his grandmother passed away from cancer. By the time she’d been diagnosed, the cancer had spread to other parts of her body. At such a late stage, no one even bothered to ask where it originated. The family, Plumeri said, was resigned to the fact that...

#MyDukeCancerStory: On Teardrop Time

“Those are the grandchildren from Florida —you can tell they weren’t happy about that picture— and there’s one of my paintings — I sold it — and these are the Christmas stockings I made,” Karin, 63, smiles as she scrolls through photos on her husband David’s smartphone. “That’s our son’s wedding; I...

#MyDukeCancerStory: A Helping Hand

Substitute teacher Tim McKenna, was teaching history at the Durham School of the Arts on April 10 when a gas explosion ripped through a downtown Durham office building and coffee shop on the next block. “Foam baffles started coming down from the ceiling and I just ran into the hall and grabbed...

#MyDukeCancerStory: A Fair Shake

When Nadine Barrett, PhD , was 15, she and her mother traveled from their home in Wimbledon, England to New York City and ended up staying; making a home in Brooklyn. They were immigrants seeking “new opportunities to advance their education and career,” Barrett said, and undocumented. “We lived in...

#MyDukeCancerStory: One Size Does Not Fit All

In 2004, Dennis Dunlow, now 47, experienced the moment that redefined his life: the birth of his triplets. Two years later, he experienced that thrilling moment all over again when his family welcomed their youngest son, making him a father of four. For Dunlow, his family has always been the...

#MyDukeCancerStory: A Champion For The Disadvantaged & The Elimination Of Cancer

As a boy growing up in Schenectady, New York, Steven Patierno, PhD, could often be found out in the woods performing surgery on frogs, when he wasn’t playing sandlot soccer or a local, slightly more “aggressive” version of capture the flag. “I always knew I wanted to be a scientist, even before I...

#MyDukeCancerStory: Virginia Woman Speaks Out

Leigh Zagorski, 32, was born and raised in Norfolk, Virginia. After graduating high school, she entered the restaurant industry, starting out at 18 years old as a server and working her way up the ranks to management. While the money was good, benefits were most often nonexistent or cost...

#MyDukeCancerStory: When Diagnosed With Prostate Cancer, It Was Sink Or Swim For Military Vet

When Robert “Bob” List, 73, a retired colonel with the U.S. Marine Corps, was diagnosed with stage 2 prostate cancer in June 2006, he immediately began to research the “enemy” threatening to take his life. For more than 26 years List’s sole focus was to lead his men in tactical planning. No less...

#MyDukeCancerStory: One-Two Punch 

There wasn’t much that could slow down Keith Nguyen, a Merck pharmaceutical employee who often traveled for business and described himself as being “in perfect health.” But when he had a heart attack last year, at age 50, it was if life had dealt him a sucker punch. When several months later he...

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