Buoyed by a strong support team and seamless care, teacher Alison Berger returns to her classroom after breast cancer treatment.
Cancer, the Unexpected Teacher
An urgent reminder not to miss annual mammograms from 15-year breast cancer survivor Bernadette Scruggs.
Alaina Koplow, had twin 3-year-olds and a 1-year-old daughter when she learned she had an advanced, rare form of breast cancer. With access to clinical trials and the newest drug therapies, she has responded well to ongoing treatment.
Coach Gizzi’s A-team
When a blemish on Al Gizzi’s forehead turned out to be an invasive, potentially disfiguring cancer with cells also in his nose and cheek, a team of UH specialists collaborated on a complex surgery and innovative treatment that spared his nose.
Radiation and chemotherapy treatments were no match for hard-driving Andy Simon, 52, which earned him a nickname in homage to the Man of Steel.
Andy’s Story – Surviving Brain Cancer 5 Years Later
Three college graduations. Three family weddings. The births of two grandchildren. Andy “Superman” Simon has cherished each of these milestones since he was diagnosed five years ago with a glioblastoma multiforme.
A young mother of two, Ashley was diagnosed with a brain tumor that incapacitated her. After receiving a combination of proton therapy, surgery and chemotherapy, Ashley's life has returned to normal.
Beverly Leighton had a strong family history of pancreatic cancer. Her decision to be proactive and begin yearly screenings at University Hospitals likely saved her life.
One morning, TV anchor and reporter Bill Castrovince opened his mouth but could not speak. UH doctors found a glioblastoma wrapped around his brain's speech center. After treatment, Bill's motor function and speech has slowly returned.
Bob Campana refused to accept the verdict of radical surgery and intensive treatment rendered by another nationally known hospital. So he obtained a second opinion from University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center.
At age 45, Bonita Johnson of Ashtabula found a lump in her breast, and six months later was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. Thanks to the team at UH Geneva Medical Center and UH Seidman Cancer Center, she is now cancer-free.
Carrie exercises regularly, eats a rainbow of fruits, vegetables and proteins and was only in her early 40s. Cancer was nowhere in her family history – but cancer often comes as a curveball when those least expect it.
Darby Harris was adrift after her father – the anchor of their family – died of cancer. At her father’s memorial service late last June, the Hudson woman was harboring a secret: she was scheduled to start her own cancer treatment the next morning.
Frances’ Story: The Stars Align
Caterer Frances Noonan has an eye for the best. She also knows luck can change in an instant, so her initiative brought her to UH Seidman Cancer Center to participate in a novel clinical trial to treat recurrent glioblastoma multiforme.
Frank Benkalowyca, 56, sought a second opinion after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. He underwent treatment t UH Seidman Cancer Center and eventually became cancer-free. An optimist, beating cancer has only enhanced his perspective on life.
When 63-year-old George Miller experienced a 30-pound weight loss over a short period of time along with other severe symptoms, he knew something was wrong. Tests confirmed pancreatic cancer and George turned to University Hospitals for help.
Helen Novotney never had a mammogram. But UH physician Marjie Persons, MD, persuaded Helen to have a special kind of mammogram based on Helen's family history -- and saved her life. An aggressive tumor was found near the chest wall.
Jane Finley, 14, of Bay Village, had Hodgkin's lymphoma, and was referred to UH from the Cleveland Clinic to have proton therapy, a highly targeted radiation treatment that spares nearby healthy tissues. She's now in remission.
Not Defined by the Brushstrokes of Cancer
Painter Mark Krieger’s cancer journey with liposarcoma, begun in the isolation of the pandemic, has been inspired by the example of a father who fought through daily struggles as a double amputee and by 32 years teaching middle-school children.
In 1990, Renee Bonner began treatment for breast cancer following a routine exam. Through all those years in which Renee underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to treat her metastatic disease, something important happened: She lived her life.
When Reta Ritondaro was diagnosed with lung cancer, average survival for the disease was just 12 to 15 months. Within a few weeks of treatment in a clinical trial, Reta’s tumor was almost gone; four years later, she’s still beating the odds.
When a broken arm revealed cancer in his bone marrow, Rick Karges came to University Hospitals - a pioneer in this field. Watch how phenomenal treatment options allow Rick to live a normal life.
No Time to Waste
Bladder cancer was no match for 80-year-old aerobics instructor Rosie Daniels. Diagnosed while balancing a busy schedule officiating swim meets and teaching, she opted for an innovative urological procedure offered at University Hospitals.
When Sandy Borrelli had advanced stage metastatic melanoma, the multidisciplinary melanoma team at UH Seidman Cancer Center suggested she enroll in a clinical trial, and her positive attitude and strength of character helped her thrive.
During Sue Swiger's second pregnancy, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She began treatment days after delivering her daughter. She now is cancer-free, enjoying her children and good health, thanks to treatment at UH Seidman Cancer Center.
Listen to Your Body
Tara Hyland was working in the intense world of San Francisco private equity when a cascade of alarms sounded in her normally healthy body. An abnormally high cortisol level led to discovery of a tumor on the adrenal gland that regulates hormones.
Never underestimate the importance of a routine physical. During a routine checkup, Terri Schoenholz's primary care physician detected a suspicious mass in her neck and immediately referred to her a specialist. It was thyroid cancer.