Survivor Stories

Ashley Goeller

IIIC_SurvivorFlyers_8.5x11_V6.indd was 18 years old and a freshman at Indiana University. I went to the doctor because I had fl u-like symptoms. About 12 hours later, a rash developed and I was transferred to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where I was given a medication called Xigris within 20 minutes of arrival. My parents were told that I had Meningococcal Meningitis and that I had a 20% chance of survival and to prepare for the worst.  was in the hospital for 3 months fighting for my life. Th e doctors prescribed antibiotics to fight the infection, but the disease had progressed significantly already. I had kidney failure, my heart stopped twice, I had both feet amputated, over 20 surgeries, 3 fingers amputated, and 40 percent of my body has skin grafting and scars.  Read more…

 


Erica Frazier Stum

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Erica had been diagnosed with cervical cancer for the third time before she found out that her cervical cancer had been caused by HPV. Although she had several years of abnormal Pap tests, her doctors told her that it was okay and there was nothing to worry about. She had one colposcopy during the years of abnormal Pap tests. In 2012, at the age of 27, Erica was diagnosed with stage 1b2 cervical cancer. She underwent a trachelectomy and lymphadenectomy to remove her cancer. She was declared cancer free, however, Erica’s story doesn’t end here. In 2014 she was diagnosed with a recurrence, this time the cancer was worse. The tumors were large and the cancer had metastasized. Erica underwent several rounds of chemotherapy and radiation. In March 2015, once again, Erica was told she was cancer free. In May 2015 the news came again, the cancer had returned for the third time. Erica continues to live her life with recurrent metastatic cervical cancer today. Read more…

 


Heather Banks

IIC_SurvivorFlyers_8.5x11_V6.inddI live in Indianapolis. I am a mom, a wife, a teacher, and a cervical cancer survivor. I first found out that I had HPV when I was 31 years old and was just 6 weeks pregnant with my second child. No invasive procedures were needed at that time; however, after my son was born and the HPV cells were still present, additional steps were necessary. In order to try and get rid of the abnormal cells, I had a biopsy as well as a LEEP (Loop electrosurgical excision procedure). Th e results of the LEEP came back showing that I had Stage 3 cervical cancer. Even though I had no risk factors for HPV or cervical cancer, my story proves that HPV and cervical cancer “can happen to anyone.” My treatment included a hysterectomy followed by radiation and chemotherapy. I have been cancer free for 5 years and I advocate for HPV awareness, vaccination, and early screening and testing. Read more…

 


Katie and Craig Van Tornhout

IIC_SurvivorFlyers_8.5x11_V6.inddOn December 24, 2009 I gave birth to a feisty 4lb 5oz baby girl named Callie.  She was our “miracle” baby after 5 years of trying and 4 miscarriages. She came 6 weeks early due to pre-eclampsia and spent 12 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. She came home and she thrived. She was happy, and gaining weight. She was the PERFECT baby. On January 24 we noticed she had a small cough. On Monday I took her to the doctor and they told me it was “just a cough” and would be gone in a few days. Tuesday, she was more tired than usual. Wednesday she was lethargic and wasn’t eating. We went back to the doctor and while waiting, she stopped breathing in my arms. She came back on her own, but we were rushed to the emergency department and admitted into the pediatric intensive care unit. It wasn’t until Friday that they tested for Meningitis and Pertussis (whooping cough).   Read more…

 


The Forbes Family

Our daughter, Kristen enjoyed a normal, happy childhood. She was a good student, IIC_SurvivorFlyers_8.5x11_V6.inddplayed rugby, cello, and guitar. Her life was filled with promise. She graduated from college with a successful career path before her. Then tragedy struck. She was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Eleven months later she died at the age of 23.  Read more…


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