Testicular cancer at age 32 in 2018
Today: Whyte recently recorded a new personal best in a 10K race benefiting the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. After taking a break for surgery, he started running again in the wake of his chemotherapy treatment, despite experiencing three weeks of side effects. By competing in races, duathlons and triathlons, he hopes to honor the survivors who gave him strength via their candid discussions about cancer on social media. “I didn’t really participate in conversations, because I felt really naive about my condition and cancer as a whole,” he says. “But searching for hashtags relevant to my condition uncovered all of these awesome fighters who were publicly sharing their story. It gave me strength and hope in my heart that I could kick [butt] like them.”
Stage III breast cancer at age 46 in 2015
Today: Having been trained as a health coach, Knoploh uses her firsthand knowledge to help cancer patients navigate the changes that can follow their diagnosis. After undergoing a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation, she felt the need to put her experience with cancer behind her. However, a friendship with another patient helped her realize that she could use what she had learned to help others. Knoploh embraces the fact that she can relate to the challenges that patients face and has chosen to be an active, engaged member of the cancer community on her own terms. “With all of the physical and emotional changes that cancer created, I decided [my illness] would not define me,” she says. “But I would allow it to shape me.”
Ovarian cancer at age 17 in 1996; ovarian and appendix cancer at age 26 in 2006
Today: The urge to write regularly didn’t strike Turner until she was in her late 20s, when ideas for books started “nagging” at her and wouldn’t stop until she had put them down on paper. In 2014, she left her job as vice president of a bank and spent six weeks writing the first draft of The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck, which led to her first publishing contract. To begin with, however, writing was just a pleasant way to spend some leisure time. She had no expectations about making any money from her work or becoming a published author. “It really is wonderful to know my books are being read and enjoyed,” says Turner. “The most satisfying thing is to look back at the journey and the unbelievable support system of family and friends I’ve had surrounding me every step of the way.”
Cancer Today magazine is free to cancer patients, survivors and caregivers who live in the U.S. Subscribe here to receive four issues per year.