Still Smiling After Four Cancers and Li-Fraumeni Syndrome

Martha Pena has endured breast cancer twice (once in each breast), lung cancer that metastasized to her brain, and stomach (gastric) cancer — all by age 40. Now 42, she is receiving ongoing treatment for her lung and gastric cancer at Dana-Farber, where she was also diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), a rare hereditary condition … Continued

Patient with Metastatic Cervical Cancer Looks at Life Through Her Own Lens

One of the reasons Fangjyh Chern loves photography is because it allows her to capture a unique moment in time. For her, the fun and challenge comes from photographing instances that can never be truly reproduced or recreated. Since her own cancer diagnosis in 2014, Chern says she has had a heightened awareness of the … Continued

Patient, Now Cancer-Free, Forms Lifelong Friendship with Doctor

It’s impossible not to notice the connection between Crista Cardillo and Kim Stegmaier, MD. The way they laugh and swap stories might make you think they grew up down the street from one another. But their friendship began differently than most: as patient and oncologist at Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. When Cardillo … Continued

Transplant Program Milestone is Patient’s First Step in Returning to the Dance Floor

The first time Bill Cronin Googled his own cancer diagnosis in 2016, his heart sank. He had Sézary syndrome, a rare and aggressive form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma  — and staring back at him were countless articles predicting a negative prognosis. However, after receiving a stem-cell transplant at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Cronin is … Continued

Patient and Author with Multiple Myeloma is Writing His Own Next Chapter

For many years, Thomas Palayoor and his wife, Sanjeewani, were engaged in cancer research in India. Inspired by the revolutionary advances being made in the biomedical field in the United States, they decided to move to the U.S. in 1978. Working at the medical schools of Ohio State University and Yale University, Palayoor branched off … Continued

Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer: From a Sprint to a Marathon

When Kirsten Erlandsen was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2008, she approached her treatment like it was one of her road races. The mother of two knew that completing each treatment session brought her one stop closer to the “finish line” and her goal of becoming cancer-free. However, after a year of running … Continued

Multiple Myeloma Fails to Keep Football Player-Turned-Broadcaster Out of Action

Many sports stars have helped support research and care at Dana-Farber by appearing on the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon presented by Arbella Insurance Foundation, but few have done so quite like pro football wide receiver-turned-broadcaster Jimmy Cefalo. When Cefalo was interviewed on-air during the August 2019 event at Fenway Park, he used the opportunity to share some … Continued

My Cancer Recurrence: The Importance of Feeling All the Feelings

By Lyndsay McCaffery Recurrence. The word all cancer survivors know and fear. I don’t know about others, but I felt I was the one who was most definitely never getting cancer again. I worked hard to get on the other side of my diagnosis and long recovery. I put in the work writing in a … Continued

Nobel Prize Research Was a Winning Formula for Patient with Kidney Cancer

Early on an October morning, Shaun Tierney started a promising new treatment for his stage IV kidney cancer. Anxious to tell his longtime oncologist, he texted Toni Choueiri, MD, director of the Lank Center for Genitourinary Oncology at Dana-Farber. What he didn’t expect was that Choueiri would have his own big news: “Kaelin … Nobel … Continued

After Cancer Treatment, Former Ironman Participant Finds Strength Again

Consisting of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run, an Ironman Triathlon is not for the faint of heart — and completing it is a feat worth celebrating. After conquering the race, Dan Luers believed he was ready for whatever life had in store. Nothing could have prepared him for a … Continued

Aided by Genetic Advances, Pancreatic Cancer Patient Keeps Rolling Along

Anthony Guido sums up his life largely in numbers. He worked construction for more than 30 years, has ridden 500,000-plus miles by motorcycle since turning 18, and shares a combined four children and 16 grandchildren with his wife, Shelly. Guido is proud of it all, but what has him most excited these days is marking … Continued

Helping Barry’s Body Beat Cancer with Immunotherapy

Barry Nelson describes his family’s cancer history as “prolific.” Nelson’s grandmother, mother, and two aunts all died from cancer, and it seemed like Nelson might be next. “One morning, I woke up and I had a pain in my neck on my left side. I went to my primary care physician and, ultimately, I found out … Continued

For Breast Cancer Patient, Positivity Is Everything

On a sunny July afternoon, Michelle Lemieux ran onto the field at Fenway Park to throw out the ceremonial first pitch during a Boston Red Sox home game. While the crowd of over 36,000 people continued to applaud as Lemieux ran back to her family, only a handful in attendance could truly appreciate what she … Continued

Ninety-Year-Old Melanoma Patient Still Lives Life in the Fast Lane

It’s easy to spot Richard “Dick” Welchons’s car in the parking lot: the 90-year old drives a 2016 bright yellow Camaro, his third version of the high-powered muscle car. He has no plan to give it up any time soon — especially after doctors spotted something suspicious on his left foot in 2014, momentarily forcing … Continued