Tell Your Story

All cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, family members and friends have stories to tell. We would love to hear about how you became involved with Moffitt and how our work has impacted your life. Please use this form to record your story or keep scrolling to read stories from other members of our amazing community. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Read stories from supporters just like you!

Joseph: Faith in GOD

Dr. Caudell and team took care of my treatment and guided us [family] thru it all. Everyone was caring and kind. I was always informed in all aspects of treatment. I believe I will be found Cancer free at 5 years, as of now I have no sign of cancer , since...

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Joseph: Faith in GOD

Dr. Caudell and team took care of my treatment and guided us [family] thru it all. Everyone was caring and kind. I was always informed in all aspects of treatment. I believe I will be found Cancer free at 5 years, as of now I have no sign of cancer , since January of 2019.
I had heard of Moffitt when I moved to Florida and the wonderful stories of patients. When my [stage 1 ] throat cancer was discovered in October of 2018 , I asked Dr. Pamela Baines to get me appointment. Put Cancer in GOD’s hands and left it to HIM and Moffitt.

Changing lives everyday

Mary: Changing lives everyday

I came to Moffitt Cancer Center because I live in the Panhandle and there was no facility with the quality of Moffitt nearby. Because of the early diagnosis of my peritoneal cancer, surgery and treatment I am now in a very positive recovery mode. Fingers crossed. As...

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Mary: Changing lives everyday

I came to Moffitt Cancer Center because I live in the Panhandle and there was no facility with the quality of Moffitt nearby. Because of the early diagnosis of my peritoneal cancer, surgery and treatment I am now in a very positive recovery mode. Fingers crossed. As an aside a friend who supported me through my visits is now a volunteer at Moffitt, Project Pup, because of a chance encounter in the elevator with another volunteer. So Moffitt changed two lives that day, as it continues to change lives everyday.

Jackie: spouses cancer

about 16 years ago my wife had cancer in her nose. she was operated on at moffit, just about got a whole new nose job. so far she is cancer free. june of 2019 my son was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.he completed chemo treatment in dec and also radiation treatment....

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Jackie: spouses cancer

about 16 years ago my wife had cancer in her nose. she was operated on at moffit, just about got a whole new nose job. so far she is cancer free. june of 2019 my son was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.he completed chemo treatment in dec and also radiation treatment. in feb the cancer was removed by Dr. Fleming. he is now undergoing follow up chemo and seems to be doing well.
my hope is that someday we will find a cure for all cancer.

The Moffitt Family

William: The Moffitt Family

From that moment my husband gave me the thumbs down as his doctor informed us he had a cancerous tumor the journey began. Finally we had an answer for why he felt so bad. My husband, Bill decided within days that he wanted more than what was available where we lived....

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William: The Moffitt Family

From that moment my husband gave me the thumbs down as his doctor informed us he had a cancerous tumor the journey began. Finally we had an answer for why he felt so bad. My husband, Bill decided within days that he wanted more than what was available where we lived. From the first phone call to the day we left their care Moffitt exceeded our expectations. They quickly had us registered and set up for all the additional testing and then arranged to meet with the surgeon. That surgeon reviewed all the test results and mapped out his plan of action to give us our life back. He looked at his calendar, pointed to the date. He looked Bill in the eyes and explained what he would do. Clear, straightforward and focused. That is when the rest of the team stepped in . All the nurses, the administrators, help with paperwork,there was always someone there to tell us what to expect as my husband faced the removal of the tumor and his kidney. And the care after surgery was top notch. The nurses made a bed up for me so I could stay with him and did their best to aleve my fears and anxiety as they were caring for my husband post surgery. They were angels as they dealt with his pain, my fears and they were excellent, skilled care givers for five days. That surgeon was Dr.Speiss. We left the hospital to travel home feeling all had been done and we could begin to breathe again. We could stop holding our breath. There have been follow up yearly check ups, still all clear, with the Moffitt team and there are not enough words to describe our gratitude. We feel blessed everyday since and hoping we will remain alumni of the Moffitt family. But just know we feel they are the best family to help you on your journey to battle cancer.

David: Lung cancer success story.

Moffitt and Dr. Fontaine preformed robotic lung removal April 30th, 2019. I have done remarkably well since. I would like to see cancer cured in my lifetime.

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David: Lung cancer success story.

Moffitt and Dr. Fontaine preformed robotic lung removal April 30th, 2019. I have done remarkably well since. I would like to see cancer cured in my lifetime.

Beating the Percentages!

Kathryn: Beating the Percentages!

Moffitt gave me hope and life!! I was 48 yo in 2018 and decided to train for a half marathon. I started training and couldn't even run 1/4 mi. Having run off and on throughout my 30s and 40s I knew that something was wrong. I went to my primary and he ordered a chest...

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Kathryn: Beating the Percentages!

Moffitt gave me hope and life!! I was 48 yo in 2018 and decided to train for a half marathon. I started training and couldn’t even run 1/4 mi. Having run off and on throughout my 30s and 40s I knew that something was wrong. I went to my primary and he ordered a chest X-ray. I was then told my chest x ray was fine and to come back in 6 mos. Knowing my body I demanded to see a pulmonologist who ordered a CT scan. We were thinking I had asthma, allergies, blue algae or red tide symptoms. When the CT scan showed a mass Stage 3b NSCLC in my lung – we were all in disbelief. I made appointment with local oncologist who then said to go straight to Moffitt to see a top surgeon who can tell you if its inoperable or not. An appt was made and we saw Dr. Robinson who is one of the best surgeons in the country. He told us that I was inoperable and introduced me to the Radiologist team and the Oncologist Team within the same appointment. We left overwhelmed but a good overwhelmed knowing we were in the right hands. On the way home Dr. Dillings called me personally and told me I was perfect for a clinical trial of one of his colleagues. After reviewing the paperwork we decided to participate – I was patient ID #1 of a phase 1 trial. Knowing I was helping to find a cure or treatment for others is such a wonderful feeling that I really can’t put in words how grateful I am to have this opportunity. So treatment began where the word of Dr. Robinson streamed through my mind daily that my “job was to not loose weight and to exercise.” Being physical therapist assistant I knew what that meant….I continued to try and run going through treatment. I didn’t loose too much weight. I did radiation, chemo and immunotherapy. I’ve continued “my job” and I’ve run 4 5k races, 1 10k race and 1 half marathon – all within 15 mos. I continue to do “my job” and run 3-4 times a week and currently training for another half marathon. My immunotherapy was done in January 2020 and I continue to fight this disease. Thank you for my awesome team and all the awesome healthcare workers at Moffitt!! Mass has decreased in size! As a side note: My half brother only 2 years my senior passed away in Baltimore from the same diagnosis on the day that I started my treatment with Moffitt – December 26 2018. Now I’m 50 and fabulous and running around town!

Stella: My son’s story…..

My son was diagnosed with ALL on April 30, 1986. After six months of trying to find out why he kept getting sicker and sicker a doctor (one of many we tried) finally realized what was happening. We were sent to Moffitt the morning after the diagnosis. Dr. Eva Hvizdala...

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Stella: My son’s story…..

My son was diagnosed with ALL on April 30, 1986. After six months of trying to find out why he kept getting sicker and sicker a doctor (one of many we tried) finally realized what was happening. We were sent to Moffitt the morning after the diagnosis. Dr. Eva Hvizdala met with us and explained what tests we had to go through…and the potential treatments, and outcome. She was a godsend and helped us through so many tough times during my son’s treatment. After the initial three years of chemo and radiation, we had one good year where we thought he was going to be okay. Almost a year to the day, my son was at Moffitt for a regular check-up and it was determined that he had had a relapse of the ALL. I remember that everyone cried, including the doctors and nurses. My son was old enough then to know…and to ask “why” I had to make him go through all of the treatment again. He was given a 10% survival chance…which meant our lives as we knew it were also given that minimal chance. Now, many years later, my son is still here with us….thanks to Moffitt. He is a wonderful man with the best sense of humor (even after all he went through), an attorney….and someone I couldn’t imagine losing, then or now. Thank you again – to Moffitt and all of the caring doctors and nurses there.

A Diamond in My Backyard

Elizabeth: A Diamond in My Backyard

As a practicing pathologist in the Tampa Bay area, I knew of Moffitt only peripherally from its earliest days when one of my friends became Moffitt's first head of the Pathology Department. Occasionally, a friend would mention having treatment there. However, due to...

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Elizabeth: A Diamond in My Backyard

As a practicing pathologist in the Tampa Bay area, I knew of Moffitt only peripherally from its earliest days when one of my friends became Moffitt’s first head of the Pathology Department. Occasionally, a friend would mention having treatment there. However, due to my, “familiarity breeds contempt,” attitude, I didn’t think of Moffitt as somewhere I would go for cancer treatment.
Receiving an unfavorable mammogram report in 2017, I called an oncologist friend at New York City’s Sloan-Kettering Memorial Hospital and asked her recommendations for further care. In my ignorance, I assumed the best place would be elsewhere. Readily, she suggested Moffitt as one of the U.S.’ top breast cancer treatment centers and called upon friends to get me into the system. Within days, I saw Dr. Christine Laronga who took incredibly good care of me and helped with my decision to have bilateral mastectomies and sentinel node examinations. Although an operative date of the following week was offered, I opted for surgery a few weeks later. I had written the biography of one of Florida’s first woman physicians, a gynecologic surgeon and published it as, “Mary Jane Safford, MD: Indomitable Mite,” (on Amazon). The date for my first book signing approached, and Dr. Laronga assured me the short delay would not affect my outcome. The signing went well, and three days later, at 6:30AM Dr. Laronga met me in the pre–op area with a copy of my book and requested my signature on it. My surgery and post-operative course went very well thanks to Dr. Laronga, her staff and everyone I encountered at Moffitt. The caring, friendly, positive and professional attitude Moffitt employees project at both the hospital and the clinic is ubiquitous and factors in promoting healthy outcomes. In the 3 years since my surgery, I’ve never encountered anyone’s deviation from that attitude.
As for your question about my hopes for the future of cancer care and research—I am hopeful that despite Covid-19 setbacks, research and care will continue. One avenue I feel has been sorely neglected over the years is nutritional study. How does our diet affect our chances to develop, promote or prevent cancers? Can dietary modifications help treat cancers? As diet is helpful in modulating other conditions such as Type II Diabetes and hypertension, can it help in cancers? I understand research has begun, and I hope for its continuance.

Constance: Thank God for second opinions

I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma in November of 2014. One of my Doctors sent me to a hospital in Miami. After discussing my options with the Doctor, he said the lump behind my right ear must be removed ASAP. He told me he would try but he couldn't...

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Constance: Thank God for second opinions

I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic melanoma in November of 2014. One of my Doctors sent me to a hospital in Miami. After discussing my options with the Doctor, he said the lump behind my right ear must be removed ASAP. He told me he would try but he couldn’t promise that he could save my ear or the muscles in the right side of my face. He scheduled me for surgery that day. I spoke with my oncologist, who I have been seeing for a previous bout with lung cancer, and explained what the Doctor told me. He said no way, cancel the surgery you are going to Moffitt. His staff scheduled a consultation within the week and 2 weeks after that I met with the surgeon, Dr Gonzales. He said he would remove the lump and was sure he could save my ear and the muscles in my face. My surgery was scheduled for January 2015. True to his word, the operation was a complete success. I have a scar from my ear to my shoulder which is hardly noticeable anymore and I do not have feeling in my neck and shoulder because the nerves were destroyed which could not be helped. I do get immunotherapy infusions every other week which last about an hour. Here it is May 2020 and I feel great. I am so grateful to Moffitt and Dr Gonzales for saving me and giving me a great quality of life in the process.

James:

My story would begin with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer from my Gainesville doctors in May of 2010. On the advice of a friend I sought a second opinion from the doctors at Moffitt. After an ultra sound guided endoscopic biopsy the Moffitt doctors said that they...

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James:

My story would begin with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer from my Gainesville doctors in May of 2010. On the advice of a friend I sought a second opinion from the doctors at Moffitt. After an ultra sound guided endoscopic biopsy the Moffitt doctors said that they disagreed with my Gainesville doctors. We embarked on a program of watchful waiting and a series of MRI procedures and additional biopsies to watch and examine while we waited. After about four years of tests we decided that I did not have cancer but a case of gall stone pancretitus that Dr. Vignesh cured when he cleared the common bile duct in order to perform the biopsies.

I was very impressed with the Moffitt Cancer Center and it’s staff that I will continue to support it as much as I can.

Beatrice: My walk With God

I went to Moffitt after having cancer three times. My local oncologist recommended I go to Moffitt for a Stem cell trier. I spent five weeks with the Moffitt family. They so wonderful in their care.My Husband was about to stay with me. After my five weeks I was move...

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Beatrice: My walk With God

I went to Moffitt after having cancer three times. My local oncologist recommended I go to Moffitt for a Stem cell trier. I spent five weeks with the Moffitt family. They so wonderful in their care.My Husband was about to stay with me. After my five weeks I was move to the Hope House for two weeks. I am so thankful I was able to get into the Moffitt Cancer Center. The care was a Blessing for me. I am still trying to get my strength back, my Faith and God’s grace I’m getting better. Because of my age the Doctors was sure the Stem Cell would work
It did for a while.
Bea Beckom.

Anthony: I was a newlywed at 28

Hi, my name is Chris and I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 28. I had gone for a routine gyn visit and my doctor found some cysts on my right ovary. Since I was on oral birth control, he felt he needed to investigate more. After an ultrasound, my doctor...

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Anthony: I was a newlywed at 28

Hi, my name is Chris and I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 28. I had gone for a routine gyn visit and my doctor found some cysts on my right ovary. Since I was on oral birth control, he felt he needed to investigate more. After an ultrasound, my doctor recommended a cystectomy. Three days after the surgery he called me and told me the news: Pathology had revealed cancer. I was in shock. I was only 28, had just gotten married a few months earlier……. My doctor gave me several options, but highly recommended a referral to Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. I agreed, and a few weeks later was on my way to Moffitt to meet Dr. Edward Grendys for the first time. The moment I met him, he put me at ease. I had brought a list of questions, which I never got to ask, since he answered every one of them just by explaining what he was going to do for me. Six weeks after my cystectomy I was at Moffitt for a staging surgery and removal of my right ovary and tube. Before I went into surgery I asked Dr. Grendys if he could save my left ovary. My husband and I wanted children and were worried. He assured me to do whatever he could – he would take biopsies and examine them in the OR to determine if the left ovary was healthy. The operation went well, he took 50 biopsies and my right ovary – but left me the second ovary. My care at Moffitt after the surgery was exceptional. Everyone was friendly, professional and upbeat. Before my discharge Dr. Grendys gave me the news that all the biopsies had been negative for cancer, but that he recommended chemotherapy due to the aggressiveness of the original cancer. I consented and also agreed to enroll in a clinical study at Moffitt comparing the effectiveness of 3 rounds of chemotherapy compared to 6 rounds in patients with ovarian cancer. For the next 5 months I traveled to Tampa on a regular basis to see Dr. Grendys and have my chemo treatment. Every time I felt that I was important to all the staff and that they took very personal interest in the outcome of my treatment. I am now 51, have been cancer free for 23 years and am the mother of a beautiful 17 year old daughter! My husband and I are more than grateful for everything that the doctors, nurses and support staff at Moffitt have done for us. That is why we support Moffitt! Hopefully, with all the excellent work that you do at Moffitt, my daughter will never have to worry about cancer!

Natalie: Working at Moffitt is more than a job

My journey with cancer started in middle school when a good friend passed away. Since then, I've had several friends battle breast cancer and recently two close friends lost their parents - one right before I began working at Moffitt. So for me working at Moffitt is...

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Natalie: Working at Moffitt is more than a job

My journey with cancer started in middle school when a good friend passed away. Since then, I’ve had several friends battle breast cancer and recently two close friends lost their parents – one right before I began working at Moffitt. So for me working at Moffitt is very personal and my way of honoring the friends I have lost and my friends who have lost loved ones.

Stacey:

My connection to Moffitt began when my dad started treatments for colon cancer in 2000. He had already undergone years of chemo, radiation and surgery before arriving at Moffitt. Still, his tremendous positivity and strength was always apparent. This was our last shot...

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Stacey:

My connection to Moffitt began when my dad started treatments for colon cancer in 2000. He had already undergone years of chemo, radiation and surgery before arriving at Moffitt. Still, his tremendous positivity and strength was always apparent. This was our last shot at a win and Moffitt brought a glimmer of hope for our family.
Being 18 at the time, I didn’t know much about cancer or treatments, I only remember hoping that this would be the answer. My mom however recounts the tumor boards where Moffitt experts strategized to help him win the fight. She has shared how warm the nurses were during treatments and she recalls the hospital staff treating my dad with urgency and care when complications arouse from his treatments.
After taking part in multiple clinical trials, he sadly passed away in 2002 at the age of 48. Years later, I realize that this was not his end. My dad played a vital role in cancer research and giving others a chance at life. It is with great gratitude that I work at Moffitt Cancer Center today. As a member of the Foundation team, I feel astoundingly fortunate to be a part of an organization that is providing tremendous care to patients and at the same time working vigorously to develop the latest cancer treatments.
I work on behalf of not only my dad, but all those seeking a win in their battle against cancer, their loved ones searching for hope and those receiving treatments today. For me, Moffitt Cancer Center is more than a cancer hospital or a job, it is hope.

My Granny Is My Why

Stephanie: My Granny Is My Why

My granny, Minnie Bell, was the strongest and most courageous person I’ve ever known in real life. When I was a little girl, she lived with us and took care of me while my parents worked, so we were naturally best friends. We loved watching The Price is Right every...

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Stephanie: My Granny Is My Why

My granny, Minnie Bell, was the strongest and most courageous person I’ve ever known in real life. When I was a little girl, she lived with us and took care of me while my parents worked, so we were naturally best friends. We loved watching The Price is Right every day and she gave the absolute best hugs. She used to rock me to sleep (even when I was far too big for her lap) and sing old gospel songs. Granny never missed an opportunity to send a greeting card commemorating special and even the most ordinary of occasions. I have a little box of her cards I’ve saved for all these years and when I need a reminder of love and humanity, I spend some time with its contents. She helped raise her three grandchildren as well as my cousin and me (great-grandchildren) before being diagnosed with colon cancer, which she beat. Unfortunately, the cancer returned in her ovaries a few years later and she fought it with everything she had until we had to say goodbye.

Moffitt has saved the lives of countless friends and loved ones, and I know that with the advances we’ve been able to make because of critical research, clinical trials, education and screening, my Granny would’ve likely had a very different experience if she were diagnosed today.

I’m honored to have joined the Moffitt team as an employee earlier this year and I can’t wait to see the progress we continue to make as an organization. I want other little girls and little boys to be able to grow up knowing their grannies, just like I did.