Survivor Stories

Real people, living beyond cancer

These are just some of the men and woman who have faced cancer and, with the help of Providence Regional Cancer Partnership, won. Read their stories below to find out how they did it.

Dana Carney - Skin Cancer

Ever wonder what a doctor or nurse would do if they were given a cancer diagnosis? Ask Dana Carney. After 24 years of practicing nursing at Seattle’s VA Medical Center, this retired grandmother of two was diagnosed with Intransit melenoma in 2008. So Dana turned to Providence Regional Cancer Partnership and Dr. Luke Walker to design a customized chemotherapy treatment path for her.

By choosing to administer her chemotherapy through self-injections at home, Dana is able to take care of her grandsons, Jacob and Tommy, as often as she wants. And whether it’s trips to the park or Mariner’s games, every moment she spends with them is a gift.

You see, this isn’t Dana’s first cancer diagnosis—as a young mom more than two decades ago, Dana battled skin cancer for the first time. Fifteen years later, it was breast cancer. Back then, Dana wasn’t sure if she would be around to see her daughter grow up. Today, thanks to the partnership, she’s teaching her grandkids what it means to be strong (not to mention how to climb the monkey bars).

Julie Jewell - Breast Cancer

“Well, at least I won’t have to shave my legs” isn’t normally the first thought that goes through the mind of a new chemotherapy patient. But don’t tell that to Julie Jewell. When this local credit union employee and avid cyclist was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago, she focused on staying positive and doing everything in her power to beat it.

That’s why Julie chose oncology expert Dr. Peter Jiang of Providence Regional Cancer Partnership to guide her down a personalized treatment path complete with the right balance of radiation and chemotherapy for her.

Julie completed her chemotherapy treatment in March of this year and is officially cancer-free. Today, if she’s not out on the trails, you can find her volunteering in the partnership’s resource center—helping newly diagnosed cancer patients and their families navigate the rocky road ahead.

Nancy Bono - Breast Cancer

In 1997, this Marysville elementary school teacher’s world turned upside down—twice. Earlier that year, Nancy happily learned she was pregnant with her first child. But this expectant mother never could have guessed what would happen next: a stage-two breast cancer diagnosis.

Six months into the pregnancy, Nancy’s top priority was her unborn daughter’s health. After undergoing surgery to remove her T2 tumor, Nancy relied on Dr. Mark Coughenour of Providence Regional Cancer Partnership to develop a carefully selected chemotherapy plan that would eradicate the cancer while keeping her baby safe.

On Nancy’s 33rd birthday, after three months of treatment, a risky but necessary C-section paid off and she got her miracle: a healthy baby girl. Today, this proud mom is cancer free and continues to turn to the partnership and Dr. Coughenour for all of her regular follow-ups.

Peter Ali - Testicular Cancer

Ten years ago, Peter Ali decided to get in touch with his roots. He picked up the Native American flute and started teaching himself how to play. Over time he mastered the instrument, but performance anxiety kept his talent hidden from the public. Finally, he faced his fear and began playing for audiences, eventually including a concert for the Dalai Lama.

Now Peter was facing something much more serious—a cancer diagnosis. He had been experiencing some discomfort in the groin area and the origin of the pain had been confirmed with blood tests and an ultrasound. It was testicular cancer. For once, Peter was truly frightened and it had nothing to do with the stage.

He got in touch with Dr. Oliver Batson at Providence Regional Cancer Partnership, and together they agreed on a plan to remove Peter’s cancer—and his fear. After undergoing surgery and chemotherapy, Peter was ready for a new life. And since everything at the Partnership—from chemotherapy and radiation to clinical research, integrative medicine and support services— is conveniently located in one place, he didn’t miss a single concert.

To this day, Peter visits the Partnership just to talk and play his flute for new patients. For many, his music has become part of the healing process. For all, his story has become an inspiration.