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Colon cancer survivor encourages others to focus on what matters

Robin Gambino considers herself an optimist. So, when her health took a turn shortly before Christmas in 2013, she expected to be back on her feet in no time. Even as she lay on a gurney in the hospital emergency room waiting for her diagnosis, she believed that whatever was wrong with her wasn't severe.

By | October 24th, 2018|Blog, Patient Stories|

Light the Grill fundraiser supports blood cancer research

Jeff Gusinow spent part of the summer doing something he hadn't planned: receiving treatment at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute. "I write on my Facebook page every week about how my 'staycation' is going, as if I were on a boat. So, this is the leido deck," Jeff says from where he sits in WVCI's infusion room. Jeff was diagnosed 11 years ago with a slow-growing blood cancer called follicular lymphoma, the most common form of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. His cancer has now advanced to the point where treatment is recommended.

By | August 29th, 2017|Blog, Patient Stories, Targeting Cancer|

Coping with cancer during the holidays

Amber Bell and her family love Christmas—from the tree to the traditions and all the twinkling lights. This year, however, this Springfield mom is undergoing chemotherapy for stage IV colon cancer, and while she wants to enjoy as much holiday fun as she can with her three daughters, ages 11, 9 and 2, it's physically difficult.

By | December 20th, 2016|Blog, Patient Stories, Targeting Cancer|

Clinical trial offers patient renewed hope

When Viki Berry went to see her doctor after discovering a small lump on her hip, she received some unexpected news: She has non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of blood cancer. It's a moment she will never forget. "I kind of left the room, mentally," Viki recalls. "I was just gone, because I was thinking, 'How did I get cancer? What did I do?'" Initial scans revealed Viki had a growth in her lower abdomen [...]

By | December 9th, 2016|Blog, Patient Stories, Targeting Cancer|

Patient who lost belongings in fire encourages others to pay it forward

After serving more than 30 years as an officer with the Eugene Police Department, Lisa Barrong was looking forward to retirement. But just about 10 months before leaving her position, Lisa learned she had breast cancer. Having received clean mammogram results just days before, the diagnosis came as a complete surprise. "I was reaching my arm across my body to grab something and I felt a twinge of pain," Lisa recalls. That's when she [...]

By | November 15th, 2016|Blog, Patient Stories|

Cancer patient keeps her cool and her hair during chemotherapy

When Jessie Wells prepared to begin chemotherapy earlier this year, there's one thing she knew for certain: she didn't want to lose her hair. "It might sound vain to be worried about something like that, but vanity didn't have anything to do with it," the 39-year-old mother of four says. "I wanted to keep my hair so my children wouldn't worry. I wanted to live as normal of a life as I could, and [...]

By | September 16th, 2016|Blog, Patient Stories|

The healing power of a tutu

Kelly Lee is a firm believer that everyone should have an inner superhero. It just so happens that her alter ego wears colorful tutus and military boots. “Clark Kent has Superman. Kelly Lee has TuTu Girl,” she declares proudly. Donning colorful tutus is how the 51-year-old legal assistant channeled a strength she didn’t know she possessed during one of the most difficult periods of her life—a breast cancer diagnosis and the year of treatment [...]

By | August 16th, 2016|Blog, Patient Stories|

Breast cancer inspires patient to help others

Every Monday, Diana Whitmire drives to Willamette Valley Cancer Institute's RiverBend clinic in Springfield. Her standing appointment is not with her doctor—Diana's been cancer-free for 6 months—instead, she's there to meet with other patients.Diana volunteers at the Cancer Resource Center at RiverBend, a partnership between WVCI and the American Cancer Society."I have the ability to help brighten a patient's day by connecting them with resources and information," Diana says. "It's huge for me to have [...]

By | July 21st, 2016|Blog, Patient Stories|

WVCI staff celebrates survivorship at Relay for Life

Trenda Dominguez is grateful every day—grateful to assist patients though her job as a scheduler for Willamette Valley Cancer Institute's gynecologic oncology department and grateful to call herself a cancer survivor. Nearly ten years ago, at age 35 and just after the birth of her son, Trenda was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. "I remember being tired, and I didn't feel great, but I also had a newborn and I was in the process of [...]

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