GIST Patient Stories

Brenda Vorters

  • GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

Found by Accident

In 2014, I had just retired and was looking forward to traveling with my husband, Leonard. I had been dealing with a multiday headache that just kept getting worse, and at one point, I passed out. I woke up four days later to learn that I had suffered a massive brain bleed. As a result of this, my doctors ordered a complete CT scan to get an idea of what was going on.

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Fritz Struckmann

  • GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

My local oncologist diagnosed me with appendiceal cancer. He said Fox Chase Cancer Center would be a great place to be treated, and we are thankful he sent us there.

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Carol Kalinich

  • GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

"On October 29, 2012, I thought I had a bad case of the flu. I had slight pains on the right side and was really tired. I decided to go to the local hospital for a checkup and that’s when everything in my world started to change. I ended up with emergency surgery that day for an appendectomy. Afterwards my surgeon, Dr. Carlos Villarreal, and my best friend, Dr. Richard Bindie, told me that if I had waited a couple more hours I would have been dead. Dr.

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Ray Beckler

  • Colorectal Cancer
  • GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)
  • Melanoma

"I have had 4 cancers that I was supposedly too young to have."

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Maria Bento

  • GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)
  • Sarcoma

I have learned many lessons over the years, including the importance of following my instincts and questioning the decisions of others. Those lessons may have saved my life.

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