My Cousin Kristin

*** Editor’s Note: Mitch was 12 years old when he delivered this speech to his school.

————————————————————————————————————————- Just close your eyes and imagine. Imagine you are in a room at a hospital waiting for the doctor to arrive after a checkup. Then the doctor comes out and says, “Well, I hate to say it but… you have cancer.” Hello teachers, judges and fellow students.

To many of you this is just an imaginary scene. But for many people, this imaginary scene is a reality.

Nine years ago this happened to my cousin, Kristin Malone, when she was only seven years old.

It was May 19th, 1994. She had not been feeling well, so she went for a check up with her doctor. She went back to school that day and my aunt went back to work. They thought everything was fine. Then while at work, my aunt got a call from the doctor’s office. They suspected Leukemia! The doctor told her to take Kristin immediately to the Children’s Hospital in Calgary, Alberta.

Imagine how terrifying that would be! You are in your car, on the way to see if you have cancer or not.

Immediately, Kristin had blood tests, and the doctors had to get a sample of [...] continue the story

A Major Victory Over Crohn’s Disease

By Julie Kalivretenos July 5, 2010

It’s been a week since the big GREAT news! As I start the day this morning I can still hardly believe this new reality, feeling as if I’ve dropped a 500 pound burden off of my back. I have so much to say I can hardly keep it structured in paragraphs, much less a single blog post!

Over seven years after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, the greatest thing that could ever come from the recent tests I’ve undergone this past week is that it is officially in remission! In fact, no Crohn’s was detected whatsoever, it has diminished, vanished, essentially POOFED!

I do have two wee little stomach ulcers, though…but what are mere ulcers? Now that I’ve slayed the dragon, no problem! Piece of cake!

Recent history:

Rewind to about three weeks ago. I was sitting in my family physician’s office reviewing the latest blood work results. I’d just undergone my annual physical, which includes a (more extensive than usual) blood comprehensive, the regular “physical” routine, and some scripts for gastro-related tests. Something worth mentioning here are the other little pieces to the triumph: a vast improvement of my iron, hemoglobin, B-12, and vitamin D levels. They were at [...] continue the story

Tom’s Story

My name is Tom and my journey began in December 2008 at age 31. Testicular cancer claimed me, as it does every year to about 50,000 men worldwide (including 7,400 Americans) between the ages of 15 and 35.

Like most guys, I always used to avoid the doctor’s office. A few years ago when I broke my foot, I even waited four months before seeing a doctor. I was “tough”, or rather, a total fool to have delayed so long. Fortunately, I was blessed when discovering my cancer. I experienced unbearable, intense pain in one of my testicles, up into the nerves of my back; pain is rarely a warning of testicular cancer. It was impossible to be tough and not listen to my body this time. And that pain may have saved my life; the cancer had begun to spread beyond the initial tumor, but no other tumors existed – yet. With the type of aggressive tumor cell discovered, it was likely to spread quickly.

Normal life came to a halt, with immediate surgery followed by several months of intense chemotherapy treatment. Remission became the best birthday gift I will probably ever receive, delivered by one of the angelic nurses while [...] continue the story