Some patients’ stories stick in my mind — and my heart — long after our conversations. Many I recall without having to consult the publications where they were featured, such as:

  • Marsha, a middle-aged mom I met in the 1990s who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and who was participating in a clinical trial of a new vaccine. While she eventually succumbed to her disease, she lived two years longer than she expected, and during that time was able to witness both of her sons getting married and her first grandchild being born.
  • Steven, who at age 8 was six years past his diagnosis of neuroblastoma, a serious childhood cancer. His family lived about 25 minutes from me. When my child care that day for my infant son, Nicholas, fell through, Steven’s mother told me to bring him along. Much of our conversation happened while I sat at their dining room table and Steven’s mom played on the living room floor with Nicholas while chatting with me. 
  • Ashley, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 12. Functional MRI enabled surgeons to know which parts of her brain to avoid while removing the tumor. She recovered and was able to return to her favorite sport, soccer, scoring a goal for her team during her first game back.

These and the many other patients I have been blessed to meet had many different experiences, but shared one common lesson: Value. Every. Day. I am grateful for learning that lesson, and I thank them for sharing their stories.

Feeling Inspired

"I wanted to let you know that I posted the article to my Facebook (along with my mom, sister, grandma, and a couple friends) and the response is truly unbelievable. I just wanted to reach out and thank you for helping me share my story. It means more to me than I can possibly express to have had someone as wonderful as you put it into those words. The outpouring of support has been incredible. Thank you for boosting my voice and helping me get my story out there." Feedback from one of the patients whose story I crafted

One of the most rewarding parts of my job is writing stories about patients who have experienced amazing medical journeys — and in many cases, miracles. Here are a few that I recently wrote for NewYork-Presbyterian. I hope you are as inspired by their stories as I am!

Sara, who would have lost her battle to complications of ulcerative colitis had it not been for her lifesaving surgeons

Nick, who traveled from Minnesota to New York for complex cancer treatment and a liver transplant that no other hospital would do

Toba, who survived a giant brain tumor diagnosed when she was a newborn 

Steven, the state-ranked high school tennis player who had major heart surgery, made it to the state finals the same year, and is now in college 

Dan, who ran the New York City Marathon less than two months after a car hit him during a training run, shattering his shoulder and breaking his back and ribs

Ron, whose visit to a Duane Reade pharmacy near his office probably saved his life


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