In Overcoming Stage IV Colon Cancer, Young Mother Takes Big Steps

On the morning of Sept. 12, 2019, Alexa Morell watched her son, Maddox, walk for the first time. Later that day, she learned she had colon cancer. The second milestone confounded Morell as much as the first delighted her. She was just 29 years old, with a clean bill of health from her annual physical … Continued

For Patient with Endometrial Cancer, Immunotherapy Proves the Perfect Move

As a designer of fantasy-style board games, Kate Beckett knows that timing and chance can play important roles in a player’s survival. Living with metastatic endometrial cancer, she has proof both can also be helpful in the real world. Beckett had already endured a hysterectomy, chemotherapy, radiation, and a serious kidney infection during six years … Continued

Dana-Farber Patient Recovering Well After Cancer and the Coronavirus

Pam Dobay is a warrior. In the last three years, the 67-year-old has dealt with a cancer diagnosis and stem cell transplant before recently contracting the coronavirus. None of it was easy, but today, Dobay is recovering at home. She says she cannot begin to express the gratitude she feels towards everyone who has cared … Continued

Focus is On Safety and Solidarity For Cancer Patients During COVID-19

Gina Solomon was in her office on March 10, worrying about the growing coronavirus pandemic, when the phone rang with news that quickly and dramatically shifted her concerns. Solomon, 55, learned she had HER2-positive breast cancer, a subtype of the disease that was as unfamiliar to her as COVID-19. In that instant, she went from … Continued

After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Mom with Four Kids Finds Hope

When Yvonne Frazier was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2019, she had three school-age children, a 2-year-old toddler, and a full-time job. She also had options. Lawrence General Hospital, where Frazier works, is 30 miles and an hour in traffic from the major cancer centers of Boston. It was next door, however, to a … Continued

Approval of Myeloma Drug Improves Patients’ Prospects

Five years into his treatment for multiple myeloma, Mark Young was attending a Dana-Farber conference to learn about the latest research in the disease when his oncologist — Paul Richardson, MD, clinical program leader and director of clinical research at the Institute’s Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center — came running up with some timely news. … Continued

Tips for Getting Through Isolation From a Cancer Survivor

When Rosemary Fischer gets calls from friends and family complaining about the challenges of staying home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, she is always ready with a good-natured response. “Wait, you’re climbing the walls after three weeks?” she said in a recent chat. “I’ve been doing it for three years!” The callers, of course, know … Continued

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