Cancer Patient Stories

Patient Stories about cancer

October 15, 2021

Two Sisters Battle Breast Cancer at UAMS

Marty Trieschmann

Sisters and UAMS Breast Cancer Patients Amber Vanaman and April Biggs

Like many sisters, April Biggs and Amber Vanaman have shared a lot as siblings. Just one year apart, they shared a bedroom and clothes growing up in Paragould, Arkansas, and have some of same facial features — definitely the same smile. But they never expected to share a life-threatening disease. Biggs was diagnosed with Stage…

May 28, 2021

Minimally Invasive Brain Tumor Removal Gives Morrilton Grandmother ‘a Second Chance’

Katrina Dupins

Analiz Rodriguez, M.D., Ph.D., and neurosurgical resident Marcus Stephens, M.D. perform surgery.

Mary Harris enjoys traveling with her daughters and granddaughters, and the family looks forward to their trips three times a year. And though the pandemic caused them to postpone for a while, they are ready to resume with a trip to Branson in June. In 2016, Harris began having a continued cough and constant bronchitis….

April 23, 2021

Twist of fate Leads to Myeloma Diagnosis for Longtime Survivor

Linda Haymes

“I am blessed to live so close to the Myeloma Center,” said Bennie Utley, 79, of Cabot, a myeloma survivor of 16 years. “It really is a state-of the-art facility.”

A persistent sore spot on his thigh led Bennie Utley of Cabot to ask his family doctor about it in early 2005. “It was about four inches wide and eight or 10 inches long,” Utley, 79, recalled. “He told me I was wearing my belt too tight.” Utley was not satisfied with the diagnosis and…

March 22, 2021

Friends Travel Miles, Bring Smiles as Myeloma Patient Begins Treatment

Linda Haymes

Friends of myeloma patient Christie Mink, 51, of Jonesboro traveled to UAMS in Little Rock to welcome her and her husband Jeffery in an emotional display of support.

On her first day of treatment at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Myeloma Center, Christie Mink returned from a lunch break with husband Jeffery to find one sweet treat awaiting her just outside the doors of the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. Eight friends, all wearing black T-shirts emblazoned with “Her fight…

February 8, 2021

Husband and Wife Unite in Battling Myeloma

Linda Haymes

“We have been well taken care of at UAMS,” said Jerilee Gott of Sherwood, Arkansas who is a myeloma survivor along with her husband Ken. “The staff has been outstanding, and we feel we are in very good hands. Our future is very encouraging with the treatment options available for those who go into remission.”

When Jerilee and Ken Gott moved to Arkansas from New Mexico in late 2017 to be closer to their two daughters and grandchildren, she knew she would need regular checkups at the UAMS Myeloma Center. She was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells in the blood, in 2009. But Jerilee Gott,…

October 13, 2020

Mother, Daughter Support Each Other Through Breast Cancer Diagnoses

Susan Van Dusen

Debby Linton Ferguson and Anna "Dale" Linton

When Debby Linton Ferguson was diagnosed in her 30s with an aggressive form of breast cancer, her mother was right by her side. Little did they know that seven years later, both would proclaim themselves breast cancer survivors.

September 21, 2020

Retired UAMS HR Chief Shares Myeloma Journey through Blog

Linda Haymes

“The staff at the UAMS Myeloma Center has always made me feel like they are concerned about my well-being and that I get the best of medical and bedside care available,” said Hosea Long of Little Rock, former associate vice chancellor and chief human resources officer, and a 20-year survivor of myeloma.

Hosea Long of Little Rock recently turned 70, a milestone that for most may seem unremarkable. After all, it was not the former UAMS employee’s 100th, 90th or even his 80th birthday. But it was inspiring and incredible for him and his loved ones. Long explained why in a recent entry titled “Tomorrow starts a…

August 4, 2020

Early Melanoma Diagnosis Leads to Positive Outcome for Young Mom

Susan Van Dusen

Dannelley and family portrait

Achieving the perfect tan is a summertime goal for many young women. But for fair-skinned Kristi Dannelley, getting a golden glow was no easy task. That’s why she turned to tanning beds. “I spent hours in tanning beds as a teenager and in my early 20s,” said Dannelley, president of Magna IV in Little Rock….

May 26, 2020

Esophageal Cancer Patient Credits UAMS for Exceptional Outcome

Susan Van Dusen

Kent Giboney

For most of his life, Kent Giboney was the picture of good health. “I was fortunate that I never had any major illnesses,” said Giboney, a retiree who enjoyed two successful careers — one in real estate appraisal and the other in property tax administration.

May 8, 2020

Myeloma Center, Patient Power Host Webinar for Patients Across Nation and World

Linda Haymes

A recent live online town hall, held in conjunction with Patient Power, featured UAMS Myeloma Center physicians, nurses and social workers who shared information with 340 myeloma patients from across the nation and world.

A recent live online town hall featuring UAMS Myeloma Center physicians, nurses and social workers shared information with 340 myeloma patients from across the nation and world. “Creating Your Own Myeloma Roadmap: From Diagnosis to Survivorship” was originally scheduled to be held both in person and online, but was changed to be held through a…

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