Xiomara, 46, had never been affected by cancer until her son Jaeden was suddenly diagnosed at age three with ependymoma, a rare type of brain tumor. “No one in my family had ever had cancer. When you hear about it, it is totally different than when it actually hits your family – especially a toddler,” she explains.
After Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2009, she turned to her reiki practice, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that also promotes healing, to help make sense of it all. “When I was initially told I that have cancer, of course, I was shocked. I turned white in the doctor’s office,” remembers Lisa, a certified reiki master and holistic practitioner. “I immediately went into survivor mode. It was surreal, bizarre.”
Sue began advocating for emotional support after her husband, Rob, advanced to stage 4 melanoma in 2009. He’d been at stage 3 for almost three years, long enough for his doctor to be optimistic and for the family to feel more confident about the future. The news, received in the emergency room where he’d been taken in response to a seizure, came as a huge blow.
Susan faced many challenges after her husband Chris was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. One of the greatest was figuring out the best way to talk about cancer with their five-year-old son Henri.
After her husband Lance was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer at age 36, Serpil struggled with how to help her young children cope. “Lance was diagnosed when my daughter Seylan was five and my son Cole was two,” shares Serpil. “The relationship that they had with him was unbelievable. They were so close, so I knew that I needed to find them any type of help. I knew I needed to move and move fast.”
During a routine annual check-up with her physician, Arlene C. learned that after 15 years in remission, her lung cancer had returned. “The cancer had come back – an aggressive one. Surgery and chemo. That’s when it all began,” shared Arlene.
Maddy Gold, 13, has quickly become one of CancerCare’s most inspiring advocates by sharing her personal cancer experience. As a result, she has made a remarkable impact on the lives of others. Maddy began coming to CancerCare at the age of four to receive emotional support after her mother, Alyssa, was diagnosed with metastatic cancer.