Success Stories

Success Stories! Woohoo!!

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Jill Smith Student, Mizzou

“I was 11 when I was first told I had cancer. It was the end of my fifth grade year when I had emergency exploratory surgery because I was having extreme pains in my stomach.They took out 8 inches of my small intestine and my appendix. They sent that off to get tested thenSara Anderson about a month later (it was 2006, they had to send it to Mayo and that took forever) when they sent us to Children’s Hospital and that is when they told me I had t-cell lymphoma. I did six months of chemotherapy then for six years I was cancer free. Then, what felt like out of nowhere, a lump started to develop on the outside of my left knee around March of 2012 (I was now 17). I went to my regular doctor and they ordered a MRI. That’s when they saw I had a tumor on my left knee. They sent me back to Children’s in St. Louis where they did a knee biopsy and found out I had Osteosarcoma. That was in April; I started chemo in May of 2012. I did a month if chemo and had a full knee replacement and then then six more months of intense chemo. I’ve had 11 surgeries and just last year they had to re-replaced my knee because of an infection. But I am now three years cancer and treatment free. I am going to school with only two years of college left before I graduate to be a history teacher. I go every six months to see how non-existent the cancer still is. In May of this year I will talk with a genetic counselor to see if it is a genetic disorder I might have. Other then that I am doing really good.”

– Sara Anderson
Sara Anderson Student, Future History Teacher

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Jim Smith Director, Sales

Sometimes in life god gives a new direction in life to test our strength and faith. I will say god never gives us more than we can handle, we may never understand his ways, but you gotta trust him, for he will get you thru this.
When i was 16 i was in my prime teenage years, trying to find myself, trying to figure out who i was gonna be. Suddenly my life came crashing down. Intense sharp pains in my abdomen kept me from doing anything. I couldn’t eat which resulting in me losing most of my hair. My face was so swollen from all the steroids i was taking. I felt helpless as doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. I was 79lbs at my lowest. As i saw myself in the mirror asking god “why me?” I didn’t understand his plan for me. I tell ya it was so hard to watch my twin sister doing all the normal teenage stuff, as i deteriorated in my hospital bed.

I was diagnosed with chrohns disease. My last resort to save my life was surgery, which led to my stoma. And that it did save my life! As much as i didn’t want to look at my ostomy bag forever.. it is a part of me. I made me who i am today. I never will take advantage of anything life is too short to live scared. Be YOU. We are all gods children, no one is better than the other. We are all the same just different stories to tell. I have been dealt a hard life but if i can help people reading this, to realize you can truly beat diseases/cancer or what ever hardship in life by having faith in yourself. Anything Is possible!! I am in remission for nearly 11 years. I’m done being ashamed with my body.

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