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Cancer Patient Stories

Breast Cancer

Sisters through survival

Sisters Through Survival

Four women from Boscobel share breast cancer stories with heartbreaking familiarity. Their experiences have brought them together as "sisters."

Read the group's story

Denise Geiwitz

Denise's Story

A typical commute home from work in 2013 turned into one of those moments Denise Geiwitz will never forget. That's when the art teacher and mother of two was told that a routine mammogram detected that she had breast cancer. 

Read Denise's story

Heather Willis

Heather's Story

One week Heather was celebrating breast cancer survivors at Gundersen's Steppin' Out in Pink. A few weeks later she was in a fight to become a survivor of the disease herself.

Read Heather's story

Jamie Dahl and Julie Nordeen

Jamie and Julie's Story

Jamie and Julie share a lot in common. They attended the same high school, live down the street from each other and they live just a few blocks from each other. One thing they never thought they'd have in common is a breast cancer diagnosis.

Read Jamie and Julie's story

Dr. Leah Dietrich

Leah's Story

Dr. Leah Dietrich cares for patients at Gundersen’s Center for Cancer & Blood Disorders. She knows first-hand how critical it can be to catch cancer in its earliest stages after being diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2011.

Read Leah's story

Margie Mason

Margie's Story

Margie noticed a lump and rash on her breasts during a self-breast exam just months after her mother died from breast cancer. A week later Margie was entering into a battle that was far too familiar for her family.

Read Margie's story

Nikki Pfeifer

Nikki's Story

Nikki Pfeifer didn't take life too seriously, before Sept. 10, 2013. But a diagnosis of breast cancer can change a woman—especially a young one. Nikki was only 29 when she was told her life would forever be different.

Read Nikki's story

Dee Powers and Tricia Demmin

Tricia and Dee's Story

Tricia Powers Demmin has a lot in common with her mother Dolores (Dee) Powers. They were both teachers. They both have a great sense of humor. And they both received a diagnosis that was shocking to say the least—breast cancer.

Read their story

Colon Cancer

Robin Henderson

Robin's Story

At just 30 years old, Robin Henderson was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer. Her fight for survival, and the care she received at Gundersen, has inspired her to help others in similar situations.

Read Robin's story

Gynecologic Cancer

Jo Froegel

Jo's Story

Jo wasn't looking forward to a lengthy recovery following surgery, a part of her treatment plan for uterine cancer. But she was delighted to be back to doing what she loved just days after having minimally-invasive robotic surgery at Gundersen.

Read Jo's story

Oral Cancer

Tom Limbach

Tom's Story

When faced with oral cancer, Tom turned to the experts at Gundersen because of the sense of community that he felt when he visited the campus. Now cancer-free, Tom credits much of his recovery to his care team.

Read Tom's story

Pediatric Cancer

Justus Heise

Justus' Story

A few months after being adopted into his forever home, Justus and his new family learned that he had cancer. They quickly found out that they had more support than they could have ever imagined—from the Gundersen staff.

Read Justus' story

Lane Cade

Lane's Story

When Lane's mom saw he had a swollen elbow, she assumed he'd bumped it on the basketball court. When the swelling grew, Lane saw doctor and received a diagnosis his family never expected.

Read Lane's story

Mason Rotering

Mason's Story

Just three days before Christmas, Mason Rotering's parents received news that no parents wants to hear—Mason had cancer. He received his first dose of chemotherapy the day after Christmas.

Read Mason's story

Clinical Trials

Rhita Searles

Rhita's Story

A cancer diagnosis had Rhita living in discomfort for more than six years. That's when she decided to give a clinical trial at Gundersen a shot. The decision has put the pep back in Rhita's step—and is helping Gundersen advance evidence-based medicine.

Read Rhita's story

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