Red Flags Stories

Don’t take your lumps lightly.

Jullian BaultrippeIn the fall of 2006, during his first semester at college, Julian Baultrippe felt pain ripple through his shoulder when he went up for a shot while playing basketball. He assumed the pain was caused by stress or over use from his frequent workouts, however, the pain persisted and over a two-month period, Julian saw various therapists and physicians. Like most young athletes, Julian was conditioned to deal with the pain without complaining but when the pain finally became too much to bear, Julian went to the ER in February 2007. With a thorough work up and proper imaging, a tumor in his right humerus was detected. He was referred to a sarcoma specialist who diagnosed Julian with osteosarcoma. After two and a half years, Julian lost his battle with osteosarcoma in August of 2009. He was 21 years old. Click here to read more about Julian.

Beverly OstermanBev Osterman went to her doctor in March 2004 for a severe burning pain in her groin. During the next eight months, she went to various doctors and medical personnel and endured severe pain and swelling in her leg. In November, she underwent surgery to remove what was thought to be a small mass but was actually a large tumor wrapped around the femoral vein and artery. After months of painful but ineffective treatment, Bev was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma sarcoma. She experienced three years of grueling treatment and severe side effects. In Nov. 2008 Bev wrote,” I have lived my life falling asleep each night thinking about what I was going to get to do the next day. There haven’t been very many days in my 60 years I haven’t looked forward to.” She passed away May 7th 2009.

Julie Rose was 4 years old when she was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma after her parents noticed a lump that kept growing. She was hospitalized for about a month for treatment including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Julie remembers that it wasn’t easy being the “bald girl” in kindergarten. She recalls supportive nurses and physicians, and the enormous medical chart that followed her for years. According to Julie, the impact of having a life changing diagnosis helped shape her outlook on life. Today Julie has two beautiful daughters who daily remind her of the more important things in life. She believes, “Things happen to each and every one of us but at the end of the day, we choose where the story goes from there.” Click here, to read more about Julie.

Brian Larkin, a history professor, noticed a small lump on his left thigh in summer 2002. He was 33 years old. Upon examination, a doctor told him not to worry; the mass was a lipoma, a benign fatty tumor. But the lump kept growing so Brian visited a second and then a third doctor, each of whom made the same diagnosis. In March of 2003, Brian underwent surgery under local anesthetic to remove the cyst yet a subsequent pathology report revealed that Brian had fibrosarcoma. The treatment plan called for radiation therapy and extensive surgery. To help cope with his anxiety and to increase his chances of survival, Brian ate healthy foods, worked out regularly, and practiced meditation. Fortunately, the treatment worked, and he has been cancer free ever since. In 2008, Brian and his wife adopted their daughter, Carolina, from Guatemala.