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Stories of Inspiration

Stories of the fighters, believers, and survivors who've inspired us with their determination and hopeful spirit.

  • Robert Walker

    Robert Walker: Defying the Odds of Living With Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer

    In 2020, 68-year-old Robert Walker was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer, which typically has a poor prognosis with less than five percent of patients expected to survive more than five years. Through good days and not-so-good days, Robert maintained a positive attitude. Robert has responded so well to every component of treatment from chemotherapy to surgery, that he has far outlived the traditional survival for patients with stage IV pancreatic cancer as he continues to fight this deadly disease.

    “When you are faced with problems, you face it head on, and you give your best fight,” said Robert Walker.

    Robert Walker
    Pancreatic Cancer
  • Kim Mosier

    Kim Mosier: Finding Strength and Body Positivity After Breast Cancer

    Kim Mosier noticed a spot on her breast, but did not think it was anything to be too concerned about. Several months later, a biopsy revealed she had breast cancer. What Kim was not prepared for was the raw reality of cancer, and the impact it would have on her mental health and body image. Today, Kim has discovered a newfound love for her body and her purpose as a source of strength to women fighting breast cancer.

    “Fighting cancer has taught me how powerful my body really is and introduced me to the strongest group of women I’ve ever met. These women have inspired me for the better, and I want to be a champion in helping others who are navigating cancer,” said Kim Mosier.

    Kim Mosier
    Breast Cancer
  • Ken Laney

    Ken Laney: Living a More "Grateful" Life After Skin Cancer

    When you receive a cancer diagnosis, “grateful” typically isn’t the first word that comes to mind. But for 66-year- old, Ken Laney, the sentiment has been an integral theme throughout his melanoma diagnosis and journey. Under the care of Dr. Christopher Oxner, Texas Oncology Surgical Specialists—Austin Central, Cedar Park, and South Austin, Ken received three surgeries to remove skin cancer from his ankle. More than one year after his cancer diagnosis and treatment, Ken remains cancer free and continues to express his gratitude for his health, family, and the cancer care he received at Texas Oncology.

    “I’m grateful for the care I received. I’m grateful for the nurses. I’m grateful to have ended up with a good outcome. I am grateful for all that I have.”

    Ken Laney
  • Mark Balderas

    Mark Balderas: How Family and Faith Gave Him the Strength To Fight

    In 2016, Mark Balderas bought himself a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle which he named ‘Priscilla.’ The very next day, he was diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer. Six years later, Mark credits his family, faith, and Hareesha Vemuganti, M.D., at Texas Oncology–Round Rock North for fueling his fight against cancer and the opportunity to finally take ‘Priscilla’ out on the road.

    “Cancer was not what I expected going in. It was a real shock. Thankfully, with the prayers and support of my family, as well as my team at Texas Oncology who understood what I was going through, I knew I was going to get through this.”

    Mark Balderas
    Renal Cancer
  • Steve Dombek

    Steve Dombek: An Unbreakable Spirit

    Steve Dombek’s relentless optimism and unbreakable spirit carried him through a double diagnosis of systemic mastocytosis and multiple myeloma. Through his business – UnbreakableATX – and with the support of his physicians, family, friends, and The Flatwater Foundation, Steve inspires others by sharing his story, and giving back to the very foundation that assisted him and his daughter throughout his cancer journey.

    “Unbreakable is my mantra, motto, or mindset for anyone going through a tough time. It reminds us that you/we/they got this, are strong, can persevere, believe, and are unbreakable.”

    Steve Dombek
    Multiple Myeloma
  • Emily Robinson

    Emily Robinson: A Mantra to Keep Moving Forward

    When Emily Robinson was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2014, she focused on the mantra that would power her through her cancer journey – “I got this.” Now, eight years later, Emily approaches life with the same “I got this” mentality and advocates for the importance of colonoscopies and proactively listening to one’s body.

    “For cancer or any kind of illness, if your body is telling you something, listen. Ask for that test because you need to know for sure.”

    Emily Robinson
    Colon Cancer, Rectal Cancer