April 23, 2015 |
BEN BAKER never wastes time feeling sorry for himself. Not when an uncommon disease he'd had since childhood caused his liver to fail in 2012, just days shy of his 18th birthday. Not when he was diagnosed, less than two years after a lifesaving liver transplant, with a rare form of post-transplant lymphoma - and not when the cancer reared its ugly head a second time, just when his doctors thought he'd officially beaten it. Baker, 20, didn't even get down last week, after he hit a bump in the road and was lifelined to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore to be treated for problems with his spleen from all the trauma his young body has taken.
December 13, 2014 |
Feeling at the very peak of health, Lynn Marks couldn't have been more surprised when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. "I was kind of blown away," she recalled. And with no connection to other breast-cancer patients, she felt isolated. Fifteen years later, Marks, 65, of Center City, the executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, knows that others are literally in the same boat, specifically one that dates to ancient Chinese tradition. She is a member of a dragon-boat crew, Against the Wind, made up of breast-cancer survivors.
July 6, 2014 |
David J. Baldwin, 50, of Northeast Philadelphia, former director of local advertising at The Inquirer, died Thursday, July 3, of colon cancer. "Everyone he met was a friend," said his wife, Joanne. "He would do anything for anybody. " Mr. Baldwin was passionate about his children and hockey. "My whole house is hockey, hockey, hockey," said Joanne Baldwin, whose family could always be found at a Flyers game. Mr. Baldwin didn't just attend games. He coached hockey at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia and served on the board of directors at the Parkwood Youth Organization, where he also coached soccer.
February 10, 2014 |
Devin Smeltzer started writing the names under the bill of his baseball cap when he was 10 or 11. Some of them were other children with cancer. Some were survivors, like him. Some were gone. "Those are the people I play for," said Smeltzer, a senior at Bishop Eustace and one of the nation's most highly touted scholastic baseball players. With his live left arm, the 6-foot-3 Smeltzer can throw better than 90 m.p.h. He was 8-3 with a 1.77 ERA and 109 strikeouts for Bishop Eustace last season.
May 30, 2013 |
Rob Long's hand combed through his hair, and he dipped his head when he reached the back. "It's all titanium back here," Long said, spreading the strands of his light brown hair. And there it was. A four-inch scar - in the shape of an S - left behind from brain surgery that drained the former star athlete of his energy and tried its best to dash his NFL dream. A day after Long turned 22 in 2010, a surgeon opened up his skull with a drill and removed a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball.
November 23, 2012 |
NEW YORK - If you've ever fired up your computer and cringed in anticipation of what nasty e-mails await, pity Eve Ensler. The Tony Award-winning playwright and activist gets a daily record sent to her of atrocities against women - a never-ending drumbeat of rape, genital mutilation, imprisonment, and murder. "In my inbox on any given day, I can tell you every single story of any violation that's happening to women anywhere in the world," Ensler says. "It's horrifying. My inbox is like a nightmare.
October 9, 2012
Through Oct. 17, Philly.com and The Inquirer will mark breast cancer awareness month by publishing a profile a day of transformative moments reported by patients. The series will culminate in a special Philly.com/Inquirer/Daily News section on Oct. 18, and can be viewed at www.philly.com/breastcancer . Lisa Barsky is a school psychologist and teacher in Bala Cynwyd. This is her story: "The most difficult moments for me in my delicate dance (not battle) with breast cancer were also the ones that were most transformative.
October 9, 2012 |
To know Brenda Jones is to get hugged by her. What happens next, often, is you want to send her some fabric. She's the breast-cancer battler I wrote about three years ago whose anger at getting sick found a juicy target in those hideous, backless Johnny coats that hospitals make their patients wear. As she was recovering from radiation treatment, she learned to sew, well enough to start producing fanciful flannel gowns she calls Hug Wraps. She'd given away about 150 of them to fellow cancer patients when I first visited her home in Southampton, N.J., on the edge of the Pine Barrens.
October 2, 2012 |
Dubbed a "medical anomaly" by his doctors, 21-year-old Alexander Rotzal has fought the odds of survival from the moment he was born. His severely underdeveloped heart, an often fatal birth defect, has had him in and out of hospitals for his entire life. At age 2, Alex had a life-prolonging heart operation. Every few years, to keep his heart functioning normally, he still needed an extra metal part here and there, including a pacemaker. This summer, while other college students worked on their tans or vacationed abroad, Alex battled cancer and beat it back.
September 15, 2012 |
Richie Suarez and his family would say that all in all, they have a lot to be thankful for. In late August 2010, Richie was 18 and in the best shape of his life. He was two days away from moving from Voorhees to Rowan University, where he would study math or science and play his beloved baseball. Then he was thrown the worst curve imaginable: He was diagnosed with a pediatric form of leukemia. Nearly 14 months of intensive chemotherapy followed to beat the disease into remission.