Patient Stories

A smiling Alison Berger poses with her happy family in an autumnal setting

1-2-3 Family!

Buoyed by a strong support team and seamless care, teacher Alison Berger returns to her classroom after breast cancer treatment.

Bernadette Scruggs was featured in “From Breast Cancer to Broadway” at the Cleveland Playhouse

Cancer, the Unexpected Teacher

An urgent reminder not to miss annual mammograms from 15-year breast cancer survivor Bernadette Scruggs.

Alaina Koplow and her friends

Alaina's Story

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.

Al Gizzi

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.

Andy Simon flexes his muscles

Andy’s Story

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 Simon five years after

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.

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Ashley's Story

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

Beverly's Story

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.

Bill's Story

Bills Story

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

Bob's Story

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.

Breast cancer patient Bonita Johnson with UH care team

Bonita’s Story

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 Boyert in the UH Seidman Cancer Center lobby

Carrie’s Story

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 and family riding in a horse-drawn carriage

Darby’s Story

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 Noonan

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 Benkalowycz

Frank's Story

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.

David Bajor, MD and George Miller

George’s Story

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.

Patient Stories | Helen Novotney

Helen's Story

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's Story

Jane's Story

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.

Mark Krieger painting a mural

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.

Renee Bonner discusses her treatment for breast cancer

Renee’s Story

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.

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Reta's Story

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.

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Rick's Story

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.

80-year-old aerobics instructor Rosie Daniels in the gym

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.

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Sandy's Story

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.

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Sue's Story

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.

Tara Hyland and her husband on the beach

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.

Patient Stories | Terri's Story

Terri's Story

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.