In times of fear and uncertainty, our true self comes out to guide us. For Sandy McDade, a 15-year breast cancer survivor, she found strength within herself that she never knew she had, providing insight into the person she is today.
“I was planning my life, where to go to college or where to go on spring break. When I was diagnosed with cancer, it was nothing I would ever expect.”
The most harrowing challenges can lead to the most unexpectedly rewarding pursuits. Heather Banks can attest to that.
“I have everything that anyone could ever need.”
The above statement is not one you would expect from a two-time cancer survivor. Nevertheless, this is the positive outlook Sandra Schaffer maintains after having overcome both breast and thyroid cancer. With the support of family and friends, including Jenny Craig-Brown here at Ideas in Motion Media, Schaffer was able to not only beat cancer, but is living a fulfilling and meaningful life in Valparaiso.
Everyone knows someone who is struggling or has struggled with cancer. Whether a friend, family member, or co-worker, cancer always hits close to home. Margaret Vanna, 69, is not only a survivor of kidney cancer, but also the grandma of one of our Lifers, Justin Luna.
It was in April of 2006 when Crown Point resident Barbara Phelps started her day feeling under the weather and soon got a headache like one she had never felt before. After calling twin daughters Kathleen and Elizabeth Brown and asking that they return home from their dad’s a few blocks away to feed the dogs, Barb quickly started showing uncharacteristic behavior that raised concern in the sisters.
When people throw out the word cancer, you can often hear a pin drop in the room. When Highland resident Deanna Schmidt heard the word cancer in her doctor’s office a few years back, she thought, “Worst case scenario – it’s skin cancer.”
Every cancer survivor tells a different story. Some wage long, patient wars of attrition against the disease, some fight a short and dramatic battle. No one story is the same. For people like Matt McCall, sharing their unique experience is one of the most important things they can do.
After moving from East St. Louis in 1990, Stacey Smith has come to love the melting pot that is Northwest Indiana in the nearly three decades that she’s called Gary her home. So when Stacey was diagnosed with breast cancer - ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) - in 2016, her family, friends, and healthcare professionals have helped her overcome every obstacle that she faced.