In observance of World Cancer Day, held annually on February 4 to raise global awareness of cancer, here are three inspiring stories of cancer survivors treated at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. Meet Brandi, Dave and Natalie.
Brandi, lung cancer survivor
Then 39-year-old Brandi had no risk factors for lung cancer. But after experiencing shortness of breath during her regular walks, tests revealed she had stage three lung cancer. Since her successful treatment at Winship, Brandi has rededicated herself to making new memories with her four children.
“Today, I like to say, I live while the living is good,” says Brandi. “So if I’m feeling good, then I am doing the most. Being a survivor means just getting the most out of life, like sharing love and spreading joy when I can—and accepting the sadness when it’s there, and then pushing through it and doing the next thing.”
Dave, renal cancer survivor
Dave had a chronic cough for two years before he came to Winship and learned he had renal cancer. He struggled to walk even six feet without being out of breath. Today Dave is doing well and he walks 12,000 to 15,000 steps a day.
“The course of treatment is working and I’m pleased to say that. It’s not a miracle cure that you go on this and you’re done. But the cancer is not growing; it’s shrinking. And in that sense, I mean, I feel very blessed,” says Dave.
Natalie, neuroendocrine cancer survivor
Natalie had no symptoms and learned she had a rare type of cancer only when she had a chest X-ray after a car accident. She was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer. When standard treatments failed, Natalie was referred to a clinical trial at Winship. She says the results have been “miraculous.”
“Looking at life at just a couple months, it’s devastating,” says Natalie. “And to know that this medicine is helping me live, even today, when the statistics show that I probably shouldn’t be alive. I’m so grateful.”
About Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is Georgia’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, a prestigious distinction given to the top 3% of cancer centers nationwide for conducting cancer research and providing training that is transforming cancer care, prevention, detection and survivorship. Winship discovers, develops, delivers and teaches some of the world’s most effective ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat each patient’s unique cancer. Cancer care at Winship includes specialists with deep expertise and experience in cancer; multidisciplinary evaluation, treatment planning and care coordination that caters to each patient’s individual needs; therapies supported by the latest advances in cancer research; and comprehensive clinical trials and support services.