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Stories of Inspiration

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

  • 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
  • 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)
  • Karen Sams

    Karen Sams: Taking on the Unknown

    Karen Sams and her husband were looking forward to their trip of a lifetime. But Karen received a call that, quite literally, stopped her in her tracks. She knew she heard “breast cancer,” but she didn’t know what would come next.

    “To anyone on the fence, get the biopsy or do the extra test. Who knows, it might be nothing but at least you’d be sure. If it is something, then maybe you’ve caught it early.”

    Karen Sams
    Breast Cancer
  • Joy Brooks

    Joy Brooks: The Ending was Just the Beginning

    In 2015, Joy Brooks was at her “Kick the Bucket” party celebrating her life in style and preparing to say goodbye to her friends and family. Now she’s six years cancer-free.

    “Everyone was so professional. Not one person made me uncomfortable—from the person who came around and asked what I wanted to eat to the people who cleaned. They treated you as a person, not just a patient.”

    Joy Brooks
    Ovarian Cancer