Patient Stories

For Lucien Zito, the process of finding appropriate treatment for his pancreatic cancer was a strenuous and protracted ordeal, adding to the stress of the diagnosis. Fortunately for this energetic 65-year-old former real estate developer, he was able to draw upon a loving and supportive family and substantial inner resources for support.
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Betsy Hilfiger, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger's sister, never had reason to believe she was at risk for pancreatic cancer. Trained as a nurse, she was well aware of the illness and its known risk factors--smoking and heredity among others. The Hilfigers had some cancer in their family, but none of the cancer syndromes associated with pancreatic cancer or pancreatic cancer itself. But a routine battery of bloodwork showing abnormalities in her liver enzymes led Betsy to discover she pancreatic mucus cell cysts. While initially benign, if left alone they almost always become malignant.
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Alia suffered from a a sensitive digestive system that was originally treated as acid reflux. In 2009, as a 19-year-old college freshman, she was diagnosed with a benign tumor in the head of her pancreas. She underwent a Whipple procedure at the Pancreas Center, and part of her pancreas was removed.
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Minimally invasive test solves JM’s medical mystery, guiding his doctors to correctly diagnose and treat a deceptive adrenal condition.
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Liesbeth Stoeffler was an active woman in her 30s when she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disease that, over time, leads to recurrent pneumonia, lung destruction, and ultimately death. By the time Liesbeth was in her 50s, her disease had progressed to the point that she needed lung transplantation – the only life-saving therapy for patients with cystic fibrosis.
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Darlene Seyfried began suffering from a painful leg ulcer in 2002, when she was just 38. Despite years of treatment with her local physician, her ulcer failed to heal, and in fact she developed three new ulcers after one treatment attempt.
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Back in 2000, Elizabeth Macchio, an occupational therapist in her thirties, noticed herself feeling increasingly tired. Her local doctor found elevated levels of enzymatic activity in her liver, but even so, her condition eluded diagnosis for several more years. Finally, in 2004, a diagnosis was made: she had a rare autoimmune liver disease called primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). The functioning of her bile ducts was gradually worsening — without a new liver, she would eventually die.
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Alyson had suffered with digestive issues for much of her life, and in July of 2009 had to undergo a Whipple Procedure to remove a cancerous cyst on her pancreas. In her own words, Alyson explains how she has dealt with this incredibly difficult situation and maintained a positive attitude throughout.
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Bill Gillmore and his wife, Janice, in early 2010. Bill has a clean bill of health after his surgery at the pancreatic cancer to remove an"inoperable" pancreatic tumor.
Hear this incredible story of survival from Bill Gillmore, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2009, and his wife Janice, who was by his side through the entire ordeal.
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