Improving Everything: Movement and Exercise Helped Breast Cancer Patient Restore Her Mobility and More

 When Sandra Noack returned home from a visit to Bogota, Colombia, to visit her family, there was a letter waiting for her. It was a leaflet sent via the Massachusetts Department of Public Health describing a clinical trial at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute for Latina and Hispanic breast cancer survivors.  The trial didn’t involve any medicine. … Read more

Young Mother with Lynch Syndrome Doing Well on Immunotherapy 

For a while, Stephanie Dobson attributed her gastrointestinal issues to her pregnancy. It was her second, a girl born in May 2023, a baby sister to her son. But when the symptoms persisted for the 34-year-old mother, she raised the issue with her primary care provider.   She was encouraged to see a gastroenterologist. On an … Read more

Voices Podcast – Season 2 Episode #6: Then and Now with Multiple Myeloma Patient Linda Solomon

When Linda Solomon, a trained medical technologist, saw the results of her routine complete blood count in 2009, she knew it wasn’t good news. Solomon, then 61, was diagnosed with stage III multiple myeloma – and given three years to survive. Several rounds of chemotherapy, two stem cell transplants, and eight years later, Solomon is … Read more

Voices Podcast – Season 2 Episode #4: Then and Now with Neuroblastoma Patient Emily Coughlin

Amy McHugh’s 4-year-old daughter, Emily Coughlin, was a typical kid – playful and inquisitive – until May 2009, when she started complaining of knee pain. After a visit to the pediatrician, and a misdiagnosis of Lyme disease, the family ended up at Boston Children’s Hospital, where they received a devastating diagnosis: Emily had high-risk neuroblastoma, … Read more

Cancer Patient Creates ‘Living Art’ for Her Wedding Day

This story originally appeared on Offbeat Bride. By Jordan Kraft “Will you postpone the wedding until after your cancer is gone?” my friend asked the week I was re-diagnosed with lymphoma. My response was so feral it surprised even me: “Honey, come hell or high water, I am motherloving having this wedding, and you better … Read more

Battling Cancer: Restructuring and Enjoying Your New Life

By Rich Rothman In September 2013, I had a bone marrow transplant that doctors advised was the only potential cure for a blood cancer known as MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome). Although we lived in New York City, we chose to have the transplant done at Dana Farber because we were impressed with everything we saw and … Read more

Pregnant with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, This Mom Found Care and Comfort at Dana-Farber

Elizabeth Larcom has six children, but it’s the youngest that she calls her “miracle baby” – and with good reason. In August 1997, the Army moved the Larcom family to Alaska with five kids under 12 and mom Elizabeth pregnant with the sixth. Soon after, husband and dad, Chuck, left for Army training in Louisiana. … Read more

Voices Podcast – Season 2 Episode #3: Then and Now with Male Breast Cancer Survivor Mike Johnston

When Mike Johnston felt a lump in his chest in 2009, he assumed it was a side effect of a high blood pressure medication. But after a routine doctor’s visit, followed by a mammogram and ultrasound, Johnston’s diagnosis was confirmed: He had male breast cancer. Only 2,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast … Read more

Attacking A Weak Point in Pancreatic Cancer’s Defense

In the fall of 2015, at the age of 44 – young for a person to be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – Doron Broman was stunned to learn he had a large tumor on his pancreas that had metastasized to the liver. Facing only months to live, Broman would find himself in the right place … Read more

Q&A with Young Adult Cancer Survivor Andrew McMahon

Andrew McMahon, founder of Dear Jack Foundation and front man of the band Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, was diagnosed with leukemia at 22, in the midst of his musical career. Like other young adults with cancer, McMahon’s treatment affected every aspect of his life, from career to relationships and everything in between. Learn more … Read more

Voices Podcast – Season 2 Episode #2: Then and Now with Leukemia Survivor Ben Blaisdell

Ben Blaisdell was a popular 16-year-old when he started experiencing uncharacteristic chills, which led to an anemia diagnosis and, soon after, the surprising news that he had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The two-year treatment was tough on him and his entire family, but Blaisdell says that he wouldn’t change his cancer diagnosis even if he … Read more

Feeling Lucky in an Unlucky Situation

By all accounts, Annie McNamara was living a typical young adult’s life in 2015. The 26-year-old lived in South Boston with a good friend from college, worked in Duxbury in the retail department of Island Creek Oysters, and liked spending time with her friends and boyfriend, Dan. She wasn’t a huge fan of the gym … Read more

Examining the Caring Culture at Dana-Farber and Brigham and Women’s

By Diana Stork, PhD Diana Stork, PhD, has spent much of her career observing, teaching, and writing about interpersonal behavior and organizational culture. After the college-professor-turned-consultant was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2016, she was introduced to a new culture of caring as a patient at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was fascinated … Read more

Social Work Helps David Practice His Passion

Extreme stomach pains sent David Rubinstein to the emergency department in December 2011. After emergency surgery, he was diagnosed with stage IV carcinoid cancer, a rare gastrointestinal tumor – leaving him to grapple with the uncertainty of his future. “I live with the daily fear about what the future holds,” says Rubinstein, a professional musician … Read more

What’s In Your Chemotherapy Bag?

Joy Yang, 36, diagnosed with stage III inflammatory breast cancer, finds support during treatment from her care team, led by Ann Partridge, MD, MPH, director of Dana-Farber’s Adult Survivorship Program and Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer, and another, unexpected source: her bag. “I’ve perfected my chemo bag,” shares Yang, who is now cancer … Read more

Voices Podcast – Season 2 Episode #1: Then and Now with Lymphoma and Breast Cancer Survivor Catherine Goff

When Catherine Goff was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma while attending college in the 1970s, it was the shock of a lifetime. Less surprising – but still life-changing – was her later diagnosis with breast cancer, a common secondary cancer for patients like Goff who received high doses of radiation therapy to the chest. Between these … Read more

Stem Cell Donor, Recipient Meet Up – Seven Years after Their Cells

Sometimes the best things are worth waiting for. Charles “Chuck” Vanada and Tobias Gillmann, connected across 3,700 miles and one life-altering procedure, can attest to that. In September 2009, Vanada – then a 48-year-old non-Hodgkin lymphoma patient – received a stem cell transplant at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center (DF/BWCC), thanks to Gillmann, 34, who six … Read more