Survivor Stories

On other pages of this tool, you have been able to listen to interviews with parents and children sharing specific advice about their experiences with cancer. On this page, you can listen to longer pieces of these interviews. These conversations cover many of the topics that are also included in the previous pages of this tool. 

Kathy & Natalie

Kathy & Natalie

Natalie Ferrara (19) and her mother, Kathy Ferrara (44), remember when Kathy was diagnosed with colon cancer. Kathy told Natalie, then 16, about her cancer the day of the diagnosis. Kathy starts by explaining how she learned she had colon cancer. Kathy and Natalie then share their thoughts about the conversation they had the next day. They also offer advice about how to set the tone for such a difficult conversation — and discuss the importance of honest communication.
Mary & Joe

Mary & Joe

Mary Griser (44) and her son Joe (18) talk about Mary's breast cancer diagnosis, when she told her son, how she decided what to tell him and his reaction. As Mary tells us, she was completely shocked to learn of her cancer diagnosis and shared the news with her son immediately.
Ellen & Sons

Ellen & Sons

Ellen Ranney (49) talks to her sons Bryan Ranney (27) and William Ranney (19) about her breast cancer diagnosis. When Ellen found out she had cancer, Bryan was 16 and William was 8. Because she was under so much stress, Ellen had trouble communicating effectively with her children — and found it challenging to address their emotional needs. She had a hard time finding resources to help her talk to her sons about her cancer diagnosis. Here she talks about why she told her sons separately, the importance of being honest with them, and how one of her sons asked her about death right away.
Marianne & Elles

Marianne & Elles

Marianne Karges (51) and her son, Elles Karges (18), remember when Marianne was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when Elles was 14. They discuss how Marianne decided when to tell the kids about her cancer diagnosis. Elles also shares his thoughts on the importance of honest communication, his reaction to the news, and advice for other parents diagnosed with cancer.
Jeanneen & Roxanne

Jeanneen & Roxanne

Jeanneen Schroeder (49), has had multiple cancer diagnoses. Jeanneen talks with her daughter Roxanne Schroeder (22) about sharing the news of her cancer diagnosis when Roxanne was 9. They stress the importance of being open with your emotions and the value of honest communication.
Terri & Ben

Terri & Ben

Terri Krueger (52) talks with her son Ben Krueger (19) about being diagnosed with breast cancer when Ben was 16 years old. Terri's ex-husband shared the news of the cancer diagnosis with Ben. Terri talks about why she felt it was important to let Ben know exactly what was going on and describes how she helped her son understand what would happen in the future.
Tami & Dymond

Tami & Dymond

Tami Hayes (50) talks to her daughter Dymond Hayes (18) about her breast cancer diagnosis and how Dymond's strength and optimism helped her through the difficult times. Tami is a single mother and her close relationship with her daughter, then 13, proved invaluable as she battled cancer. Dymond shares some important advice with her mother.
Chris & DiAnne

Chris & DiAnne

DiAnne Mueller (52) and her husband, Chris Frey (54) talk about his cancer diagnosis. DiAnne and Chris have 3 children. They discuss how they decided when to share the news with their kids, and how the experience of telling each child was different.