Your FCS Experience

Your FCS Experience

John Sodeika

The healthy, active, 54-year-old father of two, John Sodeika, was shocked when he received an advanced gastric cancer diagnosis in 2019. Thanks to his loving family and friends, positive attitude, and treatment from Dr. Rubin, Dr. Wang, and his Florida Cancer Specialists & Research Institute team, he is off treatment and living his life to the fullest!

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Shannon Gunn

No one in Shannon Gunn’s family ever had cancer. Thankfully, she listened to her body and got checked out when she discovered a lump on her breast. After 10 months of aggressive treatment, the marathon runner and fitness trainer completed the Sunshine Skyway 10K race and soon crossed the finish line of the treatment phase of her cancer journey. She is grateful to her Florida Cancer Specialists medical oncologist Dr. Vikas Malhotra and team who, from day one, treated her like family.

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Don Dewitt

FCS patient and three-time cancer fighter Don Dewitt understands the importance of excellent healthcare. As a former hospital administrator and emergency medical services personnel, he knew what to look for when he began his cancer treatment journey more than 20 years ago. Recently, Don sat down with medical oncologist and hematologist Dr. Raymond Esper to recall their journey together and share his appreciation for the quality care he received from Dr. Esper and his FCS care team.

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Bridgett Riley

A diagnosis of stage 3 rectal cancer was a jarring blow to professional boxer, kickboxer and stunt woman Bridgett Riley. At Florida Cancer Specialists she was able to receive the comprehensive care she needed, close to home. Brittney credits her FCS team for providing her the expertise, love, patience and hope she needed to win her cancer fight.

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Amy Rodriguez

Her warrior spirit and an expert and caring Florida Cancer Specialists team that greeted her like family each day, helped Amy Rodriguez beat breast cancer. After a long and demanding year-and-a-half of treatment, Rodriguez is grateful for the chance to keep serving her community and country as a member of the Army National Guard, and to continue raising her son and watching him grow up.

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Susan Bellamy

There were no early signs to warn Susan Bellamy that she had breast cancer. She found hope and healing at Florida Cancer Specialists, where oncologists Dr. Sawsan Bishey and the team greeted her with a smile every day and cheered her on through every step of her journey. Join Susan as she rings the bell to celebrate the end of her treatment.

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Mark Pope

Following his colonoscopy, Mark Pope was shocked to learn he had cancer. The surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments that followed wore him down, and he was anxious about a scheduled Pet/CT scan. Florida Cancer Specialists Pet/CT Technician Erika Price, who, from family experiences understands what patients are feeling, took the time to connect with Mark and ease his anxiety.

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Tarshia Rivera

Florida resident Tarshia Rivera was diagnosed with an aggressive stage 3 breast cancer in 2014. After successfully completing intensive treatment therapy with Florida Cancer Specialists, the mom of four young children learned her cancer had spread to her other breast. Fortunately, through participation in three different clinical trials offered through FCS’s Drug Development Unit, she had a positive response. Her message: Never give up.

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Marissa Young

Her car and cell phone were critical to Marissa Young’s treatment for B-cell Lymphoma. Thanks to grants provided by the Florida Cancer Specialists Foundation, Marissa was able to focus on resting and healing rather than worrying about paying these bills. She is deeply grateful for the community-based support that aided in her cancer journey and recovery.

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Emmanuel George

Emmanuel George, of Crawfordville, had received the results of the routine blood work done to monitor his diabetes when his primary care physician referred him to an oncologist, Dr. Scott Tetreault at FCS.

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Isabel Owens

Hearing the words “you have cancer” is a heart-stopping, gut-wrenching, breath-arresting moment when time seems to freeze. For the physicians, nurses, technicians, counselors and support staff members in the Florida Cancer Specialists network, dealing with the emotional toll of a cancer diagnosis is as important as treating the cancer itself.

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Marissa Lenney

Marissa Lenney and her husband were happily building their life together—pursuing their careers and moving into a new house. They knew that having a child would complete their family. What they didn’t know is that the pregnancy would spur an estrogen and progesterone-fed form of inflammatory breast cancer. Within 24 hours of her diagnosis, Marissa had her first appointment at her local Florida Cancer Specialists to start her chemotherapy treatment.  

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Neil Breitenbach

When champion kart racer, Neil Breitenbach, felt a sharp pain in his chest, he never expected to be diagnosed with stage 3 metastatic breast cancer. From his very first consultation with Florida Cancer Specialists, Neil knew he was in the best place he could be because of FCS’ ongoing advances in breast cancer research. His care team put him at ease — listening to every question and laying out a personalized treatment plan — and they’ve been fighting together ever since.

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Peggy Moore

Peggy and Brian Moore first met at her parent’s home when Brian was a Peace Corps volunteer. It took 34 years for fate to bring the couple together in marriage. Since they wed, Peggy has survived breast cancer and now, thanks to Dr. Vikas Malhotra in Hernando County, she is beating the odds and recovering from pancreatic cancer.

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Stephanie Peace

A visit to her dermatologist to check what she thought were simple skin lesions indicated that Stephanie had cancer. Tests later revealed the diagnosis of Stage IV lung cancer. The schoolteacher and mother of three had never smoked. A biomarker test performed by FCS medical oncologist Dr. Syed F. Zafar found a rare genetic mutation. Stephanie continues to inspire others with her resilience and determination.

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