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University of Colorado Cancer Center

University of Colorado Cancer Center, A National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center
 

Meet Our Patients

Read stories from CU Cancer Center patients


Every patient has a story about the day they were diagnosed with cancer, the day they began treatment or enrolled in a clinical trial or the day they heard the words "cancer free." Read our patients inspiring stories of strength.


I can focus on the sun shining

Normally we tell stories of triumphant patients living with cancer, or we catch up with clinical trials that give people back their lives, or we share the inspiration of those in remission from cancer against all odds. And yet, as we all know, cancer kills people. It takes spouses and parents and children and beloved members of our families and our friends and people that we work with and people that we have never even heard of.On March 15, 2015, cancer took the life of Denise McGuire, PhD. She was generously sharing her journey through radiation and chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.

Read about Denise McGuire's story

Beyond the cover, Kelly's melanoma story

Thick red hair, glowing fair skin and a healthy figure are far from the image most people picture of a person enduring cancer. Yet for Kelly Howard the outside doesn’t necessarily paint a picture of what’s going on inside. Truth be told—the pain on the inside and the fatigue are often unbearable even in the midst of looking “healthy.” It’s been nearly five years since Kelly was first diagnosed with melanoma, a form of skin cancer, at the age of 35, yet on the outside she still looks the same.

Read about Kelly's melanoma story

There's no me in statistics, Jim's story

Jim Dysart knows numbers. With a background in economics and finance, and a career in the commercial banking industry, he knows when numbers look good and when they don’t. In 2001, at age 62, Jim knew the numbers were grim—a pancreatic cancer diagnosis with a four to six percent chance of being alive past five years. After his primary care physician broke the news, Jim drove home repeating the words “Jim you have cancer” over and over in his head.

Read about how Jim defied the odds

Forth time's a charm, Tom's story

At the end of 2012, Dr. Tom Evans was hauling wood for a new deck up the mountain behind his house in Genesee— a climb he’d done almost every day since 1997—when his body told him to stop. He was fatigued and short of breath. “I was doing fine—walking a few miles every day and hunting,” Tom says. “One day I couldn’t walk up the mountain to save my soul. I was exhausted. I knew something was wrong.”

Read about Tom's experience

Katy Davenport, University of Colorado Cancer Center

Young colon cancer patient finds hope at CU Cancer Center

With long blonde hair, a fit physique, and an overwhelmingly positive attitude, Katy Davenport hardly looks like someone who is enduring cancer. Yet at 34 years old Katy went in for a precautionary colonoscopy after noticing some blood in her stool. Her doctor was shocked to discover a tumor.

Read Katy's shocking story

Mark Grogan, University of Colorado Cancer Center

Mark and Rich; two melanoma survivors

Colorado experiences about 130 percent the national average incidence and 150 percent the national average rate of death due to this cancer.  Reasons for this are multiple, and include our copious sunshine, active outdoor lifestyle, and at least one vertical mile less atmospheric protection than most other high-ranking states.  Mark Laing and Rich McDonald, both melanoma survivors, are far too familiar with the disease.

Read their incredible journeys

Maria Fernadez, University of Colorado Cancer Center

Cancer Center lends a hand in Alaskan's lung cancer battle

It was Dec. 29, 2012, and Tabitha Morgan had given birth to daughter Sophia. The day was especially joyful for Morgan and husband Tim because it ended their seven-year struggle with infertility issues. Sophia was their “little miracle,” Tabitha said. Five months later, physicians in the Morgans’ home state of Alaska diagnosed Tabitha with stage 4 lung cancer.

Read Tabitha's Story

Maria Fernadez, University of Colorado Cancer Center

Preserving options, Bri's story

At 24, Bri Pasko hadn’t thought much about children, besides assuming she’d have them one day. Then on Feb. 10, 2012, Bri jumped in the shower to begin her usual morning routine and for some reason, gave herself a breast self-examination.

Read Bri's oncofertility story

Maria Fernadez, University of Colorado Cancer Center

Outliving the odds

When Harry Peterson, a retired engineering professor, had his first prostate cancer scare, Bill Clinton was in his first term as president of the United States. More than 20 years have passed since President Clinton was elected and two more presidents have served, yet Harry, now 81, continues to fight prostate cancer—despite exhausting two doctors’ “bags of tricks.”

Read Harry's story

Maria Fernadez, University of Colorado Cancer Center

The tale of the tongue

On June 30, 2009, Mark had a 2.5 cm tumor removed from my tongue.  This was supposed to be routine nothingness to remove a lesion noticed four years earlier by my dentist.  Then on July 2, 2009, I was diagnosed with oral cancer (squamous cell carcinoma). 

Read Mark's story

Maria Fernadez, University of Colorado Cancer Center

That dude is tough as nails

On June 30, 2009, Mark had a 2.5 cm tumor removed from my tongue.  This was supposed to be routine nothingness to remove a lesion noticed four years earlier by my dentist.  Then on July 2, 2009, I was diagnosed with oral cancer (squamous cell carcinoma). 

Read Tim's story

Read more patient stories in C3 Magazine

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