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GIST Patient Stories

Ben Van Horn

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

Ben Van Horn

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

"My cancer recurred one year later. I came to Fox Chase to get the help of physicians who had firsthand experience with rare cancers."

Tania Stutman

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

Tania Stutman

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

In the spring of 1949, Tania Stutman entered the world in Haifa, Israel. Her mother was a Holocaust survivor who escaped to Israel. Tania spent much of her childhood in Romania before she immigrated to America. “Our family has had our share of difficulties,” recalls Tania, who lost her sister in 1985 when an Arrow Air plane crashed in Gender, Newfoundland, on its way back to the U.S. So when she learned she had cancer, Tania approached it as just another challenge.

Dennis Sloan

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor);  Liver, Gall Bladder & Bile Duct Cancer

Dennis Sloan

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor);  Liver, Gall Bladder & Bile Duct Cancer

"An annual physical examination certainly paid off for me...I am a respiratory therapist and a clinical application specialist for a medical device company, so I knew it was serious when I was sent to a surgical oncologist the next day."

Frances Hatalovsky

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

Frances Hatalovsky

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

When Frances Hatalovsky was diagnosed with metastatic carcinoid cancer at age 74, she sought treatment at Fox Chase Cancer Center. In January 2006, she had surgery to remove the cancerous tissue from her colon, small intestine, ovaries, and liver. The surgery was successful, and Frances returned to work two months later. "I will never forget how patient, kind, compassionate, and attentive the Fox Chase staff was when they first met with me and my husband, John," she said. "They reviewed my records and test results, showed us my X-rays, and pointed out exactly where the cancer was located and how far it had spread. They asked me how I wanted to proceed given the diagnosis, and they gave me the confidence I needed to know I could beat the cancer."

John St. Omer

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

John St. Omer

GIST (Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor)

As the father to 4 sons with a 16 year span, and the general manager a major hospitality hotel, John St. Omer knows how to manage chaos. But managing cancer - when you don't know you have it, is another story altogether.

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