Sarcoma Patient & Survivor Stories

Ruth Bachman

Type of Sarcoma: (MFH) /Undifferentiated Pleomorphic Sarcoma(UPS)
Diagnosis: 2003
Location: Hand

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Heidi Bright

Type of Sarcoma: Highly Undifferentiated Endometrial Sarcoma
Diagnosis: 2009 
Location: Uterus

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Talia Beck

Type of Sarcoma: Ewing's Sarcoma
Diagnosis: 2001

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Annette Bonaventura

Type of Sarcoma: Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumors
Diagnosis: 2015
Location: Leg, Arm

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Oliver Carefull

Type of Sarcoma: Osteosarcoma
Diagnosis: 2014 
Location: Leg

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Aaron Conley

Type of Sarcoma: Epithelioid Sarcoma
Diagnosis: 2012 
Location: Wrist

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Maggie Cupit-Link

If you need proof of the old adage “to truly understand something you must experience it first-hand,” look no further than Maggie Cupit-Link. As a Ewing’s Sarcoma survivor, Maggie has been able to convey her sarcoma journey uniquely as she served as a 2015-2016 Sarcoma Scholar at the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine.

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Dick DeBlieck

On Friday the 13th, 2010, I received a call from a surgeon informing me that I had “an aggressive, high-grade cancer.” As a healthy 59 year-old man training for yet another 26.2-mile inline skating marathon, this came as both a shock and a surprise.

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Perry Ford

There was no doubt I was leading the good life and I tried to take care of myself by watching my diet, exercising, & not smoking. In college I played collegiate basketball and tennis. After graduation, I was lucky enough to marry the love of my life Kathleen.

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Sarah Friedman

At the end of June 2011 I began to experience horrible lower back pain. I had recently started working out, so I figured I pulled something. I went to my local doctor twice, where they gave me strong medications to control the pain, but nothing seemed to help.

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Lisa Griebel

As Jan thinned and trimmed my hair, we talked about our friend Hilary who had just been diagnosed with both breast and kidney cancer. She was in mid-sentence when she stopped and said, “You know that it has gotten bigger,” referring to the lump on the back of my neck.

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Blake Hastings

As many of you know, our world took a very unexpected turn in mid-March 2017. Starting in late September 2016, Blake had a pain in the top of his foot that would occasionally come and go. He had it checked and the doctor couldn’t figure it out, he thought maybe some kind of arthritis, or even gout.

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Theresa Hosfield

Type of Sarcoma:  Chrondosarcoma
Diagnosis: 1998
Location: Pelvis/Leg

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Jody Johnson

It all started when I gave birth to my daughter. When I went in for my six-week check, I had told the doctor that I have a bump in my leg. He briefly glanced at it and said, “It should go away in six months.”

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Judy Jones

My story began in Spring 2013.  My right hip began to ache and the pain became concerning enough to visit my primary care provider at Mayo in late May.

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Kraig Kuusinen

After having pain in my let leg for a few months, I was diagnosed with osteo sarcoma on April 3rd, 1986. At no point during the treatments, tests and side effects did I think I would not beat this cancer.

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Bob Laurenzo

I was diagnosed with a sarcoma in my upper right groin in December of 2006 and had surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering in January of 2007 and then had 38 rounds of radiation. Initially, no one was sure exactly what I had until final diagnosis at MSK.

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Jan Maudlin

My sarcoma journey started on a staircase in Aloha Stadium in January 2001. We were on vacation and had attended the Pro Bowl. Coming down the long staircase after the game, all of a sudden I slid/fell/stumbled down the stairs!

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Nick Manzoni

Type of Sarcoma: Ewing's Sarcoma
Diagnosis: 2011
Location: Leg

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Miranda Mead

Miranda Mead was flying through life, a busy student at Wayzata High School who played in the band and was at fifteen a rising cross country running star. Then in the fall of 2015 Sarcoma inserted a speed bump into her life.

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Sarina Morrison

Type of Sarcoma: Undifferentiated Soft Tissue Sarcoma
Diagnosis: 2014
Location: Leg

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Grace Nelson

Type of Sarcoma: Rhabdomyosarcoma
Diagnosis: 2008 
Location: Foot

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Kevin O’Keefe

Kevin O’Keefe is a husband, father, grandfather, friend, volunteer and a long-term synovial sarcoma survivor. He has chaired the Party in the Park for two years and has served as a volunteer for Rein in Sarcoma for six years.

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Chelsey Olafson

It was the week before my husband and I celebrated our first year of marriage. It started off as a regular day, but now, January 6th, 2015, is a day I will never forget. I was at work when my doctor called to tell me my tumor was malignant. I had a rare form of cancer.

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Mary Anne Oldford

I was born to survive. Before I was born, I almost lost my life when my mother had a fibroid tumor surgically removed while I was still in the womb. Later, as a 5-year-old, I was diagnosed with polio, paralyzed, and told I would never walk again.

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Alison Olig

Type of Sarcoma: Rhabdomyosarcoma
Diagnosis: 1996 
Location: Pelvic cavity

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Jess Porter

It was 2007, the snow had melted and school baseball season was half way through. I spent the entire off-season preparing for this year, thinned out, gained some muscle, built some speed and felt the healthiest I had ever felt. Except for the tumor that was growing in my right tibia.

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Jonathan Reich

Jonathan Reich and I were high school sweethearts. We were engaged and bought our home at 19, and married at 21 in 2006. Many people told us we were too young to be in love and married, but we are so thankful we started our lives together young, as we had no idea the hurdles we would face.

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Julie Rose

Type of Sarcoma: Rhabdomyosarcoma
Diagnosis: 1977 
Location: body

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Chastity Sabono

Type of Sarcoma:  Leiomyosarcoma
Diagnosis: 2016
Location: Eye

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Brad Sauve

I just want to share with you what happened to my face, I feel more comfortable if you know. Back in 1993 a lump grew on my left mandible and I went to the Twin Cities and had it removed, it was a cancerous tumor and it destroyed most of my mandible.

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Mike Schurhamer

Sometime during 2006 I began to notice my left calf was often sore. The sensation was not pain but a dull ache such as a Charlie horse in a muscle would give. I tolerated this feeling for 6 or 8 months thinking it was a lingering effect of a bruise to that calf a year or two earlier.

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Ken Selden

In February 2016, Ken Selden was diagnosed with mesenchymal chondrosarcoma on his spine. He endured 9 months of chemotherapy, 5 weeks of radiation, and a major spinal surgery. Ken currently has no evidence of disease and credits his survivorship to the support of family, friends, and the excellent care at the Mayo Clinic and Huntsman Cancer Institute.

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Jean St. Pierre

My name is Jean St. Pierre. I was diagnosed with a Sarcoma called Epitheliod Sarcoma in September 1995. It all started when I developed a lump on my right hand in 1987.

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Ariella Stein

My 9 (almost 10) year old was diagnosed with Ewing's Sarcoma in her tibia in February. Since then she has undergone 10 rounds of chemo with 7 more to go and has had limb salvage surgery and is currently in an external fixator.

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Allan Swartz

It was January of 2008 and I had turned 65 the year before. I had been incredibly healthy all my life, with the exception of one night, I hadn’t been in a hospital as a patient for over 60 years.

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Scott Tjaden

Type of Sarcoma: Osteosarcoma
Diagnosis: 1980 
Location: Knee

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Lynn Von Korff

I was at work when the surgeon called with my biopsy results. “Undifferentiated pleomorphic sarcoma,” he said. “Could you repeat that?” I said, quickly dumping the contents of my purse to find a pen. “UPS,” he said, “high-grade,” which meant aggressive. Why wasn't I prepared? I knew this call would come.

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Elizabeth Wipper

September 2010 - I have just begun my journey. I am not sure the first time I felt my lump, but I do remember the first time the alarm bells went off. It was Sept. 12, and I had been having neck pain and headaches for a while.

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Natalie Wolf

My name is Natalie Wolf and I am 19. In August 2010, I was busy getting ready for my freshman year at the University of MN, College of Biological Sciences. I was really looking forward to college and pursuing my dream of a field in genetics.

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