Stefanie - A Survivor Story
Throughout October, Newyorkislanders.com will share stories submitted by our fans who have survived cancer. Today we meet Stefanie, who survived Hodgkin's Disease and Myelogenous Leukemia, and has been cancer-free for 16 years. To submit your own personal survivor story for our blog, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
At 11: I was diagnosed with Stage IV Hodgkin's Disease and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments. After a year of treatment at Cohen Children’s Medical Center and home tutoring, I resumed school with my same-aged classmates. One year later, when I turned 13 years old, I was diagnosed with Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. I underwent more chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and had a Bone Marrow Transplant for which my youngest sister, Danielle, was a perfect match. I was cured and have been cancer-free for 16 years.
At 28: I am currently working on my dissertation, which examines the health behavior choices of childhood cancer survivors. After this, I will have completed my PhD in psychology from Fordham University. This winter celebrates 16 years of good health since my Bone Marrow Transplant. Every time I hear the story of a young person's cancer experience in my research, I am reminded of how fortunate I was to have such a strong and dedicated team of doctors at CCMC; and still do, as a patient of the Survivors Facing Forward Program. Transitioning from "cancer patient" to "cancer survivor" was a long and important process for me, and I've learned to appreciate all the good that comes with this hard-earned title.