Survivor stories from the UCLA Daltrey/Townshend Teen and Young Adult Cancer Program
The doctors told Allie Newman that the pain in her right thigh was tendonitis, nothing to worry about. A little physical therapy and she'd be as good as new. Just one month later, in January, the 16-year-old avid skier and soccer player was diagnosed with an aggressive osteosarcoma in her right femur.
Her dad, Bob Newman, broke the news to his only daughter as she lay on her bed doing homework, just like she did on any other regular night. Tonight, though, everything would change.
"Just a few days before, she was skiing on a family trip, playing soccer and enjoying her teenage freedom. Now I had to sit and explain a cancer diagnosis to her," Newman said. "That is not something you ever prepare for or anticipate having to do with your child." Read more »
Mike Pena was sick, but no one knew what was wrong with him. He would come home from his job as an equity trader in downtown Los Angeles, fall asleep in the afternoon, and not wake up until the next day. Doctors said it was stress, exhaustion, maybe depression. He was only 22, after all. What else could it be?
There were other changes. Typically reliable, he stopped showing up for appointments. He'd plan to meet his girlfriend at the movies, then not turn up or even call. Usually easygoing, he was moody and temperamental. Slowly, his friends began drifting away. Read more »
Cookie was 2 years old when she was diagnosed acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL). She underwent a year and a half of surgery and chemotherapy. At 5 years old, she relapsed with leukemia again. Three years later, after extensive surgeries and chemotherapy, she was once again on the road to recovery. At age 9, Cookie relapsed with leukemia yet again. She had chemotherapy again but was advised that she needed a bone marrow transplant. April, 2006, she had a bone marrow transplant at UCLA where she lived for 66 days. Read more »