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Breast cancer survivor gains new perspective and learns to laugh again

Tiffany Olson will never think of New Year’s Eve quite the same way.  On Dec. 31, 2014, when her friends and family were preparing to welcome in a new year full of possibilities, Tiffany learned she had breast cancer. “When my doctor gave me the news, I just stared at him,” she says. “Everyone who knows me knows I’m a talker. But in that moment, I was speechless.” A week earlier, on Christmas Eve [...]

By | October 13th, 2015|Blog, Breast Cancer, Patient Stories|

Pee Wee team brings cancer survivor to tears with moving tribute

One of Julie Jenkins' favorite things is watching her 4th grade son and his friends play football. Last weekend's game is one she will never forget. "It was amazing. I was so touched. It made me cry," she said. Julie is one of the team moms for the Churchill Pop Warner Junior Pee Wee team in Eugene. She is also a breast cancer survivor. The team of 9- and 10-year-olds surprised Julie when they [...]

Katie Burke: A survivor’s story

Katie Burke’s life hasn’t gone exactly as planned. But as a patient navigator at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute, she’s proof that life’s detours can take you places you’d never expected. “I meet with newly diagnosed breast, lung and colorectal patients,” Katie says. “I walk them through the process and connect them with resources, like our social worker, our dietician and support groups. I’m a kind of cheerleader for patients all the way through.” Katie [...]

By | September 13th, 2015|Blog, Breast Cancer, Patient Stories|

Rick Dancer: Cancer was blessing I didn’t expect

Rick Dancer is a storyteller. It’s his passion and his talent. But in January of 2010, Rick’s own story took a life-changing turn when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had already been through some tough times prior to his diagnosis. After 20 years in broadcast journalism, he’d quit his job as a high-profile TV news anchor and made an unsuccessful run for the position of Oregon’s Secretary of State. “I felt like [...]

By | September 9th, 2015|Blog, Patient Stories, Prostate Cancer|

Stacie Overman: What cancer taught me

Stacie Overman can tell you all about the ugly side of cancer—what the disease looks like when it ravages a family, what it’s taken from her and the struggles she’s faced. Instead, nine years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, Stacie chooses to reflect on what cancer has taught her and make the most of what she calls “a blessed life.” Stacie with her grandson, Brody “Being diagnosed with cancer is very [...]

Teen donates more than $3,000 to help cancer patients

Thirteen-year-old Bella Moses has a big heart and an even bigger desire to help those in need. Instead of receiving gifts for her recent bat mitzvah, she decided to improve people's lives. In celebration of Bella's coming-of-age—a significant moment in Judaism where a child is deemed responsible for their actions and obligated to observe the commandments—Bella asked friends and family to make donations to three non-profit organizations, including Oregon Cancer Foundation. Bella was all [...]

Patient finds renewed hope with immunotherapy

Jackie Templeton and her husband, Brian, will celebrate 50 years of marriage this month. It's a milestone Jackie wasn't sure she'd live to see. After a difficult two-and-a-half year struggle against metastatic melanoma, her health improved significantly after being introduced to an immunotherapy drug called Keytruda, as a patient at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute. "I've never been in a tanning booth, but my mother always thought if you looked tan, you were healthier," Jackie [...]

Quest for quality cancer care leads to Eugene

Lynn Samuels is on what she calls a "medical safari." She and her husband, Loren, are temporary transplants in Eugene. They came here following an extensive search for the specialized care Lynn needed, which they found at Willamette Valley Cancer Institute and Research Center, under the care of Dr. Jeff Sharman and Dr. Haidy Lee. "I think a person really needs to get proactive and educate themself and look at all the options. That's [...]

Stacie: On healing, finding new love and reality TV

Since 2010, breast cancer survivor Stacie Sisk (now Stacie Overman) has experienced career changes, guilt, new love, a second cancer scare, and a soon-to-air reality TV series. She's navigated the twists and turns in the same ways she always has - with a positive outlook, caring heart and visionary spirit. Arriving today at a place of peace, she feels she's on the right track. The video series featured on this blog brought to a close [...]

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