Stomach Cancer Survivor Stories

You Are Not Alone! Read About Some Survivors and Share Your Story With Us!

Being diagnosed with stomach cancer is devastating enough without having the added burden of going through it alone and feeling like there is no hope. Debbie's Dream Foundation: Curing Stomach Cancer is changing that. Read the stories below about some extraordinary people who have survived stomach cancer and are winning the battle. Getting involved with DDF and sharing your survivor story is another way to feel less alone and isolated. Call our PREP hotline at (855) 475-1200 for support and to be connected with a stomach cancer survivor.

Steven Melen – California

My story begins in Spring 2007 with my first symptoms. I first started to feel an increased amount of fatigue and was having small amounts of pain while swallowing food. Occasional reflux sent me to my primary care physician where he initially diagnosed my symptoms as stress and gave me a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) to help with the reflux.…

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Angela Bosela – Ohio

I will soon celebrate my 62nd birthday, and on January 24 I celebrated my 6th anniversary of being cancer free. In January 2007, I discovered that I had stomach cancer. I had always been healthy, but I had some recurring chest pain for six months or so. I even told my husband I felt like I had a hole in…

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Branny Carrasco – San Francisco, California

My story begins with a lot of frustration, anger, and shock. You see, at the tender age of 31 I was diagnosed with stage 3B stomach cancer. My frustration stems from feeling like my situation could have been prevented with proper medical surveillance. I’ve led a healthy, active life for several years now, so this diagnosis was completely unexpected. In…

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Nelson Civello – Florida

April 1, 2015 After fighting prostate cancer it appeared that I would resume “the good life” of a retired executive playing golf and living on the beach in Florida with my wife of 42 years. On my 67th birthday we celebrated with a steak dinner. But cramping and distention on the right side of my abdomen was the result. My…

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Rachael Cortez – California

I am Rachael Cortez from Lodi, California; I am 31 years old. I was diagnosed with stage 2 stomach cancer on June 20, 2014. “Why me?” I kept asking that day. I was so healthy. I have never had anything wrong. It was a complete shock to me and my husband of almost 15 years. We wondered about whom we…

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Daniel Damian – Florida

My name is Daniel, and this is my cancer story. On Sunday morning, October 31, 1994, as soon as I got up I started getting heart palpitations every time I moved, and every time I tried to get up I got very dizzy. I decided to wait, thinking that maybe it would go away, but it didn’t. Later on in…

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Tony Leonard – North Carolina

My name is Tony Leonard and I am still celebrating birthdays after my diagnosis of Linitis Plastica gastric cancer Feb 4, 2012. My journey has definitely not been an easy one. No one can truly prepare you for what’s ahead. No one can tell you how to live without a stomach, let alone how to eat without one. No one…

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Gae Rogers – Maryland

This year I celebrated my 55th birthday. It’s a birthday I looked forward to celebrating, since it also marked my 5 year anniversary as a stomach cancer survivor. In July 2007, I was diagnosed with Stage 2 Gastric Cancer. It was a signet ring cell type which I was told was an extremely aggressive, fast growing cancer. I was shocked.…

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Melani Vincelli – New Jersey

Like most woman today, I always put my health concerns last. So in January of 2009 when I noticed some pressure under my breastbone, I ignored it. I thought that I am too young for anything to be seriously wrong. I was only 49. I had a stressful job, I sold technology to businesses and with the recession in full…

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Pat Campola – Florida

On September 20, 2012, my life changed but not for a good reason. That day I was diagnosed with gastric cancer and specifically a tumor in the upper part of the stomach near the esophagus. I have been in the health insurance field for 30 years and was acutely aware of the seriousness of my situation and did what I’m…

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Randy Hillard – Michigan

I never really had any symptoms of stomach cancer. In 2010, I was a Professor at Michigan State University and was Provost for Health, responsible for the Medical and Nursing Colleges. I thought that I was in great health. I was at the Michigan State University Student Health Service Halloween Party in 2010, probably wearing some kind of silly mask.…

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Millie McConnell – British Columbia, Canada

My name is Millie McConnell, and I am a twelve year stomach cancer survivor. I was diagnosed Nov 15, 2001 with Stage 3B Signet Ring Stomach Cancer and told to put my affairs in order. The hospital had me on morphine although it was on my record prior to surgery that I was very allergic to it. Following surgery I…

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