Ambassadors

Pre-vivors – Survivors – Caregivers – Friends – Co-workers – Bereaved

When you share your experience, we guarantee you will inspire others and remind them that they are not alone. Our Ambassadors educate others about the issues that patients and caregivers face and help create a community of survivors, caregivers, friends & family members that understand one another.

2023 Ambassadors

Janet- Bereaved

“Your focus is on them as a caregiver, but you’re on this journey, too. You are affected by cancer even if you don’t have it. You matter. Your challenges and all that you do is your journey, and it’s important to acknowledge that.”

Adriana- Breast Cancer

“I can proudly say with happy tears that I am a Breast Cancer survivor. Chemo, radiation, several surgeries and COVID did not bring this girl down.
Cancer Pathways provides so many resources for families to engage and connect with others navigate some difficult times.”

Fred and Claudia- Metastisized Prostate

“Asking for help is not easy. By coming to Cancer Pathways Midwest, I understand there are other people that are going through what I’m going through.”

Katie- Breast Cancer

“While I’m in remission, there’s still a mental battle that happens after cancer. Do I want reconstruction? What if it comes back? How do I want to live this life after seeing how it could’ve been? Learning of others that are newly diagnosed. It’s a lot, but the support from CPM and the Ribbon Chicks means the world to me.”

Jeff- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

“I want others to know that cancer does not discriminate and to pay attention to your body. You are your best advocate but with Cancer Pathways Midwest it gives individuals the ability to connect on different levels of cancer. It
affects everyone. I was 25 when I was diagnosed after being misdiagnosed 6 times between the ER and family physician they finally sent me to a surgeon that found the tumor right away.”

Jean- Endometrian and Kidney Cancer

“Cancer was a huge shock. I had No idea until I went in for a ultrasound papsmear and nearly bleed out in her office. I was transfered to an emergency room at Deaconess. I had Endometrian cancer.”

Sarah- Bereaved

“My world was turned upside down when my sweet mother was diagnosed with small cell carcinoma of the rectum. Not only is this an aggressive cancer, it is rare to have small cell of the gastrointestinal tract. Needless to say, I, as well as my whole family, were devastated.”

Shawna- Previvor

“Since finding out about my diagnosis, I have had both preventative surgeries to lower my cancer risks, and am living my best life as a flattie and a PREVIVOR!

It was a very lonely decision and I had to advocate for myself because everyone thought that I should reconstruct. I wanted one and done.”

Mary Ann- Caregiver

“An overnight stay in the hospital, became a week long stay, a Stage 3 Rectal cancer diagnosis and a myriad of doctor’s appointments, treatment plans and a less than ideal holiday season ahead. Our children 4, 7, 8, & 13 had to be told, extended family had to be told and friends all had to be told.

How in the world were we going to maintain business as usual? I sure didn’t know, but dang it I was going to try.”

2022 Ambassadors

Kim- Atypical Carcinoid and Typical Carcinoid

“Everyone thinks that once chemo is over you’re back to normal. Chemo had affected more than I anticipated, so I called Cancer Pathways Midwest. The environment is calm, warm and welcoming, and feels like home. I left there feeling understood and realized they truly “get it”. You aren’t the same once you are thrust on this journey and Cancer Pathways Midwest has made it easier for me to find ME! I come feeling overwhelmed and depleted and leave ready to tackle what life throws at me.”

Parker and Spencer- Pilocytic Astrocytoma

When Parker was 8 years old, he was diagnosed with pilocytic astrocytoma on the brainstem.
“Cancer Pathways has helped my brother with his worry and helped me to realize that it’s ok to be angry at cancer.” – Parker

“After all we had been through, we struggled finding a therapist that was a good fit. Cancer Pathways Art Therapy in the Mindful Creations Studio has been phenomenal, providing us with coping skills and help with the anxiety that comes with cancer” – Laura (Mom)

Nic- Skin Melanoma

“The trauma associated with a cancer diagnosis ages you. It makes it difficult to relate to people your own age and even dating is an obstacle. While they are thinking about their careers and future, I am thinking about the day I’ve been given and if the cancer will come back. It is always in the back of my mind.”

Kristin-Cervical

“My baby was 8 months old and I was still breast feeding. I was also not done having kids. The only option to remove the cancer and be here to see my kids grow up, was to have a hysterectomy. That had some profound effects on me and my children, knowing I could not give them another sibling.”

Angie and Oliver- Leukemia

“Oliver has been through five different chemos and finally received a bone marrow transplant. He is doing great but nothing has been “text book” for him. Through it all, Cancer Pathways Midwest has shown up multiple times, providing unconventional support and resources just when they were needed.”

Tammy- Triple Negative Breast Cancer

“When I had surgery, started chemo then radiation, I became “a warrior”. The people I met through Cancer Pathways Midwest, helped me realize that what I went through was hard and I was strong for going through it… I am a SURVIVOR! Cancer Pathways Midwest is my comfort zone. I feel accepted, loved and like I can be myself.”

Andy-Multiple Myeloma

“Cancer came as a shock, very unexpected, and it has been quite a journey. Beyond the surgery, chemo and stem cell transplant, the most challenging has been the mental aspect; how to reframe my life, where do I go from here, and how much time do I have before it comes back?

This is an ugly disease and through Cancer Pathways Midwest “Guy Time” and Peer to Peer support, I want to help and encourage others going through cancer, especially Multiple Myeloma, so no one feels as if they are alone.”

Taylor-Li-Fraumeni Syndrom

“I only have one tumor suppressor, where most people have two. This predispositions me to a 100% chance of developing cancer in my lifetime.

My sister Lexi, and I, both inherited this from our dad, who passed away when we were little. Lexi recently passed from ovarian cancer.

She was 18 yrs. old. I am very thankful to have Cancer Pathways in my life especially since Lexi’s passing. I have done counseling, Art Therapy and met others who understand what I am going through. I feel at home there.”

Heather- Caregiver/ Bereaved

“Taylor recently learned that she is also positive with the genetic disorder and is preparing for prophylactic surgeries to prevent the various cancers she is now at risk for.

“Cancer has been a big part of our lives and has taken a lot of our family Knowing that Cancer Pathways always has an answer, no matter what each of us is needing.”

Eva- Stage IV Lung with Brain Mets

“I have been through chemo, radiation, surgeries and even remission. I recently went through a reoccurrence and Cancer Pathway Midwest was there the entire time. They have cheered me on and I’ve met friends with whom I am able to talk through my various situations.

Cancer Pathways Midwest is a great support, resource,  and community! As an Ambassador, I want to help others by sharing my story!”

Angie- Breast Cancer/ Caregiver

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer and had three reoccurrences. With her history of breast cancer, my doctor treated me aggressively. I had chemo upfront to reduce my tumor size, six months of chemo, a lumpectomy, and finally 6 weeks of radiation. I have been cancer-free for 11 years but don’t ever feel like I am “home-free.”

Karen-Breast Cancer

“Working while going through chemo and radiation was challenging. There were many days where I shouldn’t have gone to work but just stayed home to heal and recover.

I lost several friends due to them not understanding what I was going through. I can’t just “go out”, I have to plan were I am going to be, know where the bathrooms are, be able to take my meds at the appropriate time and accept that I get tired more easily.

“Cancer has been a big part of our lives and has taken a lot of our family Knowing that Cancer Pathways always has an answer, no matter what each of us is needing.”

Melissa- Appendix Cancer

I didn’t even know I had it… it was just there! I had surgery to remove my appendix, 25% of my colon and several lymph nodes. I am currently going through chemo and very new to all of this. The chemo and the mindset that cancer puts you through is the most challenging. I have nausea, no taste, loss of appetite and it’s difficult to stay in a positive frame of mind.

I don’t want to get depressed but it is very hard… with Cancer Pathways Midwest I get through it.”

Ambassador Photos were taken by Berkeley Photography, LLC.