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Stories of Inspiration

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

  • Jay Jaszkowski

    Jay Jaszkowski: Combining Surgery and a Sense of Humor To Fight Cancer

    Jay Jaszkowski is convinced his sense of humor and outgoing personality helped him get through a diagnosis of paranasal sinus cancer, a rare cancer that affects the nasal cavity and the sinuses. The tumor in Jay's nasal cavity was so large his entire nose had to be removed. He felt disfigured and isolated, but after receiving a prosthesis, his life was transformed. Cancer-free for more than a year, Jay has not lost his sense of humor and is an inspiration for others with missing body parts and deformed limbs.

    “I just couldn’t believe I had cancer. I know everybody says that, but I could not believe it.”

    Jay Jaszkowski
    Nasal Cancer
  • Pearce Murphy

    Pearce Murphy: Celebrating 20 Years of Life After Childhood Cancer

    At 10 years old, Pearce Murphy received his non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. Now, on the 20-year anniversary of his diagnosis, Pearce is living a happy and healthy life. Pearce and his mother Janise reflect on this milestone and what life after cancer taught them.

    “Your life and your body are not always the same after cancer. Thanks to my amazing family, friends, and network of doctors who have stood with me long after completing treatment, I am beyond grateful for the life I have been able to live over the past 20 years,” said Pearce.

    Pearce Murphy
    Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • 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
  • Bren Doreck

    Bren Doreck: The Battle of a Lifetime

    Texas native and former Navy Lt. Cmdr. Bren Doreck is no stranger to embracing the unknown; he faces challenges head on. At the age of 39, he went from fighting for his country to fighting for his life.

    “I don’t think I could have had a better doctor, honestly. He had a whole plan laid out.”

    Bren Doreck
    Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML), Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)
  • Brooke Bott

    Brooke Bott: Keeping Her Joy as She Battled Leukemia

    Brooke Bott received the news of her diagnosis while attending her cousin’s birthday party. A fight with acute lymphocytic leukemia “ALL” behind her, she’s going to be a part of this cousin’s wedding – because she keeps going.

    “Even though I was going through something really difficult, I still smiled my way through it.”

    Brooke Bott
    Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (Child ALL)
  • Dan Rembold

    Joyride – How Cancer Prepared Me for the Ride of My Life

    During Blood Cancer Awareness Month, acute myeloid leukemia survivor Dan Rembold, of Dallas, shares his cancer journey and the importance of a positive mindset.

    “For those of us cancer survivors who ‘only live twice,’ life is that much more precious, and we are blessed with a special perspective that only we have.”

    Dan Rembold
    Acute Myeloid Leukemia AML