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Cancer Patient Stories

Breast Cancer - Kathleen's Cancer Diary

Kathleen Schilter is a 51-year-old mother of five. In October 2015, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Follow along as she chronicles her story, in her own words... Read more...

Breast Cancer - Darricke & Undraye's Story

Darricke & Undraye Bennett, Breast Cancer Survivors There is no doubt that breast cancer can run in families, usually due to a hereditary factor. This story is a bit different. It hit this family, both the wife and her husband within a two-year period. Read more...

Breast Cancer - Kathy's Story

Every time Kathy Moeller came to Columbia St. Mary’s Polly and Bill Van Dyke Cancer Center for treatment, the one thought she couldn’t shake was just how nice it would be to work there.

In October 2015, her dream came true. Read more...

Esophageal Cancer - Michele's Story

The story of how this normally vibrant and jubilant woman – with a loving husband of 31 years, four beloved children, and a job at Trader Joe’s she adored – had sunk to such hopeless despair is a cautionary tale that stretches back more than a decade. Read more...

Breast Cancer - Amelia's Story

On Valentine's Day, 28-year-old Amelia started treatment at Columbia St. Mary’s Polly and Bill Van Dyke Cancer Center Milwaukee for inflammatory breast cancer. Amelia's positive attitude in the face of so much uncertainty is truly remarkable. Read more...

Lung Cancer - Rick's Story

Rick Wolff was born for the outdoors. An avid cyclist and high school state champion runner, he later made a career in the woods as a DNR game warden. Physical fitness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle were always important to the 59-year-old Grafton resident. So it came as a complete shock when in October 2011 he was diagnosed with stage III lung cancer. Read more...

Prostate Cancer - Thomas' Story

If it wasn’t for a free prostate screening by Columbia St. Mary’s Polly and Bill Van Dyke Cancer Center Milwaukee, Thomas Tillman probably wouldn’t be alive today. Read more...

Breast Cancer - Cheryl's Story

When Cheryl Halverson was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was shocked and scared. Fortunately, she had Peggy Long, her Nurse Navigator, by her side every step of the way, at every appointment. Cheryl says she wouldn’t have been able to get through her cancer treatment without Peggy’s endless support and encouragement. Read more...

Breast Cancer - Amanda's Story

How far would you go to receive the best medical care possible? If you were facing a breast cancer diagnosis, there is likely no distance too far. That was the mindset 34-year-old Amanda Krueger had when she made the more than two hour round-trip drive from Manitowoc to Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee every week. Read more...

Breast Cancer - Beth's Story

Beth had always been proactive about her own health. Her family history of cancer – her father passed away from colon cancer and her mother is an 11-year breast cancer survivor – coupled with her work in the healthcare industry made her keenly aware of the risks she faced. Despite all her precautions and preparations, she knew what her family history meant. So she was prepared, as much as one can be, for the news she received at 1:41 p.m. on September 25, 2012. Breast cancer. Read more...

Breast Cancer - Peggy's Story

Margaret “Peggy” Long has been working in oncology for more than 22 years, and has been at Columbia St. Mary’s Ozaukee for almost seven. But on April 3, 2012, this cancer nurse navigator became a cancer patient. Read more...

Breast Cancer & Genetic Counseling - Karen's Story

When Karen Spahn got the call on November 20, 2012, she couldn’t breathe. Like most who receive that dreaded phone call, she never once thought this would ever happen to her. An ultrasound confirmed her doctor’s initial suspicions and a biopsy was ordered. It was breast cancer.

But that’s just the beginning of the story. Among the many members of Karen’s cancer team was a genetics counselor. When Karen and her husband, Chris, met with Laura, it was determined Karen’s family history posed no significant risk. But Chris’ family history was worrisome. Laura recommended he get tested for a mutated BRCA gene – “the cancer gene.”  Read more...

GI Cancer - Jacob's Story

In many ways, Jacob Moreland’s story is common. It’s a story of overcoming adversity, of perseverance and of the power of the human spirit. It’s also a cautionary tale of the importance of regular health screenings – something about which many people still need to be reminded. Read more...

 Throat Cancer - Larry's Story

It was late October 2011 when Larry Engel started losing his voice. At first he didn’t think much of it – an early seasonal cold, perhaps. But soon the days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months. “I kept putting it off,” says Larry. “Some days were good, some weren’t. I never had any other symptoms – sore throat or anything like that. Swallowing didn’t bother me, I could eat.” Read more...
   
 

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