Survivors' Voices

The sole aim of Georgia Cancer Info is to enhance the quality of cancer care through research. Care for patients is at the heart of our mission and we are particularly attuned to the voices of survivors. Your experiences as a clinical trials participant can be helpful to us as in our quest to improve cancer treatment options for all Georgians.

As a survivor, we invite you to share your insights, experiences and opinions with us. Your feedback will be shared with Georgia CORE’s Board, staff, investigators and research network members and may be summarized on the website as a resource for others. You are also welcome to include a picture.

Have a story you want to tell? Tell us about it.


Too busy: Susan McLendon

We’ve all been there – too busy to listen to what our bodies are telling us. In 2003, Susan McLendon was too busy; she was in graduate school and taking care of family members that were sick. So, when she noticed some breast changes, she initially ignored them.

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Sandra Heinrich: You have to listen to your body

When she was first diagnosed with colorectal cancer, Sandra Heinrich was 40 years old. Indeed, her internist told her, “You’re too young to have cancer” when she initially went in for hemorrhaging.

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Sharing Information Can Save Lives

Crystal Lane was 26 years old and the primary caregiver for her (then) 15-year-old brother when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

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I, and others like me, exist: Janet Kempe

As a survivor of clear-cell ovarian cancer, Janet Kempe often wonders, “What is different about me? Why did treatment work for me, but not for many others?”

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Herman Anderson: surviving means sharing the importance of screenings

For Herman Anderson, it’s all about getting people to get screened for cancer. When he was diagnosed with Stage 2 colorectal cancer in 2006, he had not been screened before. And he was 62. He knows better now.

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From devastation to a miracle: Wayne and Lisa Merritt

“Our doctors call me a miracle,” said Wayne. But more than anything, the couple attributes his survival to determination, strong faith, and the diet and the lifestyle changes they made together.

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"We're in a club that we didn't ask to be in." Sam Murphy

“There’s no age limit in our club. It’s not discriminatory. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor. We are not looking for members and we are not collecting dues. The only dues you pay is the last thing you will ever pay.”

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“I was not going to let the cancer beat me.” Doug Russell

The first piece of news was ominous: Doug Russell had stage 4 melanoma.... the second was worse: The cancer had spread to his lungs.

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"It’s important to have hope that their will be a positive outcome." Eve Irvine

When Eve Irvine was informed that her breast cancer had metastasized to her clavicle, she had a choice to make...

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“[I wanted to] increase the number of women who participated in clinical trials.” MaryAlice Moses

When Austell, Ga resident MaryAlice Moses was notified of an opportunity to participate in two cancer prevention clinical trials, she knew it was the right thing to do.

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"Participating in a clinical trial was a way to take back my power. I felt like being on a clinical trial put me in control." Tamara Lopata

Tamara was diagnosed with breast cancer on her 47th birthday. “Just a few months before I found the lump, I had a feeling something was going to change in my life. Of course, I didn’t expect a diagnosis of breast cancer! I had no family history of the disease and I kept up with my annual mammograms. But, when I found this lump I knew it was something different.”

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"She’s like that with everything…whatever it is, Laurie is just going to take it and run with it." Laurie Devitt

Diagnosed with colon cancer in the winter of 2007, Laurie says she never stopped to question the unfairness of it, or even to ask: “Why me?” “It’s the way I was raised,” she says. “You just keep going.”

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