Patient Stories

Breast Cancer

Heather Garigen

Heather Garigen

Heather and TJ Garigen were looking forward to the birth of their third child when they received the most disturbing news of their lives. Heather's obstetrician found a lump in her breast that turned out to be cancer. Heather's baby is now seven months old, and they are both healthy, happy, and cancer-free.

Heather and her baby are healthy and cancer-free. Read her story.

Megan MacKenzie

Megan MacKenzie was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2007. While dealing with a number of personal setbacks, Megan continued to fight her cancer, and became cancer free in early 2008. Recently, she was named the recipient of the 2012 Inspiration Award, and extremely high honor.

Megan has been cancer free for 4 years. Read her story.

Colon Cancer

Steve McCluski

Steve McCluski

Steve McCluski was referred to Dr. Alok Khorana, a specialist in cancers of the stomach and colon. The additional tests that Dr. Khorana performed revealed more bad news: it appeared Steve’s cancer had already spread out of his lymph nodes. There was a strong likelihood that Steve had stage 4 colon cancer.

Steve McCluski has been cancer free for 6 years. Read his story.

Leo Murphy

Steve McCluski

Leo Murphy’s employer, SWBR Architects, has sponsored a golf tournament to support the Wilmot Cancer Center for the last 20 years. Leo never imagined that the golf fund-raiser would play a part in saving his life.

Leo Murphy has been cancer free for 5 years. Read his story.

Lynda Pasco

Lynda Pasco

Lynda Pasco had her first colonoscopy at age 62—as a favor to her primary care physician. Lynda’s cancer was well advanced. It was a stage 3 tumor at the junction of the colon and the rectum. A team of doctors—including surgeon Dr. Jenny Speranza, medical oncologist Dr. Alok Khorana and radiation oncologist Dr. Alan Katz—met with Lynda and worked to identify the best course of treatment.

Lynda Pasco has been cancer free for 2 years. Read her story.

John Roberts

John Roberts

John Roberts ran a triathlon three weeks before his first colonoscopy. Age 48, John was remarkably fit, but in spring of 2011, he had a stomachache that woudn't subside. Dr. Hsu performed a colonoscopy, and found an obstruction, which he was sure was cancer. Referred to Dr. Monson, John started treatment for what would end up being his 92 days of cancer.

John Roberts has been cancer free for six months. Read his story.

Jennifer Wagner

Jennifer Wagner

Jennifer Wagner was just 39, and an unlikely candidate for rectal cancer. But for several weeks, she had experienced rectal bleeding. After being referred to Dr. Monson, he told her that there was both good and bad news. That it was cancer, but it was curable.

Jennifer Wagner has been cancer free for almost a year. Read her story.

Follicular Lymphoma

Cathy Drake

Cathy Drake

Cathy Drake had always lived an active life. She enjoyed camping, hiking and gardening, and felt fortunate to have a job that provided real meaning to her: Caring for children in the Pediatric Cardiology Department at the Golisano Children's Hospital. But then, in 2003, she began having symptoms that were troubling to her.

Cathy Drake has been cancer free for 7 years. Read her story.

Head and Neck Cancer

Lou Iovoli

Lou Iovoli

Two years ago, Lou Iovoli was on that track and had finished respectably in his first half-Ironman. “I’d spent two years working my way up to complete the half Ironman distance. Completing that first one was a great feeling. I was on a high,” said Iovoli, the father of four boys. Just 24 hours later, Iovoli was devastated to learn he had a large tumor at the base of his tongue, extending to the palate and larynx. It was Stage IV cancer.

Lou Iovoli has been cancer free for 4 years. Read his story.

Lymphocytic Leukemia

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller

Jennifer Miller had the glow of an expectant mother in fall of 2002. She and her husband, Greg, were eager for the birth of their first child and ready for the challenges of parenthood. In the coming weeks and months, Jennifer would face obstacles that most pregnant women could never imagine, as she battled for her own life and the life of her unborn child. In the process, she inspired many doctors, nurses and staff at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center with her strength and grace.

Jennifer Miller has been cancer free for 9 years. Read her story.

Richard T. Bell - 2011 Discovery Ball Inspiration Award Recipient