Patient Stories

Cindy Parks

Whenever there’s a celebration in the foothill towns of the northwest Georgia mountains, it’s likely Talking Rock Caterer Cindy Parks’ heralded cake designs are part of the fete.  Accustomed to navigating a packed event and wedding calendar with ease, an “accidental” diagnosis of lymphoma in March 2012 catapulted Cindy onto an emotional rollercoaster. “You automatically… Read more »

Ricky Hitt

“Home-grown” fits Canton native Ricky Hitt to a tee, but so does Renaissance man.  He’s a husband, father, fisherman, horticulture enthusiast, weekend auction aficionado, and number cruncher who would give you the shirt off his back. Born and raised in the Hickory Flats community in Canton, the Cherokee High School alum never left the county… Read more »

Jaime Andrews

When you’re on the precipice of death, being gifted with an alluring personality and zest for life is ignored.   Despite the odds, the ever ebullient Jaime Andrews made a narrow escape.  The margin was practically non-existent by the time her stepsister drove her to the emergency room of WellStar Kennestone Hospital in late August 2012…. Read more »

Anne Corbett

A dinner date with friends in November 2011 didn’t end in the typical way with hugs and a promise to get together again soon. Anne felt hot and her stomach hurt. As she waited for the car to take her home, she collapsed on the curb of the restaurant. After a brief stint in the… Read more »

Ashley Hallford

Ashley Hallford noticed a knot in her neck in March 2007.  She spent the next eight months watching it fluctuate in size. It was thought the knot was simply an infected salivary gland, but with a family history of neck cancer, she begged for a biopsy. In November, the biopsy revealed what she feared most… Read more »

George Bunch III

News surrounding the Atlanta Summer Olympic Games made most of the headlines in Atlanta in 1996. For George N. Bunch III, publisher of Gilmer County’s Times-Courier newspaper, the year’s lead story was personal. His white blood count was up and a subsequent complete blood count showed it was on the rise. His primary care physician,… Read more »

Shaan Hawkins

Cancer has no consideration for age or stage in life.  Shaan Hawkins was 27 years old with a newborn when she was diagnosed with locally advanced breast cancer on January 2, 2014.  Fortunately, Shaan didn’t break under the weight of the adversity.  She allowed God and others to help carry the load. In July 2013,… Read more »

Viviana Baxter

The renaissance was the period of cultural rebirth in European history between the 14th and 17th centuries marked by a new-found interest in science, ancient art and literature. When you speak with Viviana you feel like it’s extended into the 21st century. The associate professor of Spanish at Reinhardt University is a case study in… Read more »

Diane Crute

Since Diane Crute celebrated her 50th birthday almost nine years ago, she’s measured the passing years by where her long, blonde hair fell on her back. She never anticipated losing it in a matter of weeks. Diane noticed a lump in her breast the size of a pea while conducting a self-exam. It disappeared, but… Read more »

Denise West-Smith

The highly resonant sound from Denise West-Smith’s handbells makes beautiful music with fellow church handbell choir ringers.  They play from the same composition, yet each individual contributes a tone unique to the bell they ring.   Much of the music Denise and the choir and quartet members play has resounded for centuries. As Denise rings the… Read more »

Joseph Cummins

Despite his prognosis with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Carrollton resident Joseph Cummins remains unshaken.   “If I get another year or two, that’s great,” he said.  “As far as I’m concerned, I’ve been blessed.”   Even with a recent CT scan showing the tumors contracting, his survival odds are unclear. “I’ve done everything a man could want to do… Read more »

Ivy Dudley

The Herculean strength of Ivy Dudley and her family helps her fight breast cancer with hope and confidence. Her daughter-in-law schedules appointments. Her son, a chef, uses his culinary skills to provide nutritious meals. While undergoing chemotherapy, Ivy’s sister came from Montgomery, AL to keep her company during her bi-weekly treatments. The single mom’s two… Read more »

Vickie Jones

Vickie Jones, the pastor’s administrative assistant at New Georgia Baptist Church in Villa Rica, GA, was well accustomed and content to live by faith, but a breast cancer diagnosis in November 2010 tested it.  Although shocked and shaken, she found peace knowing she was in the hands of God and an expert medical team fighting… Read more »

Russell Owen

Russell (Russ) Owen was always the picture of health.    The 42-year-old father of three got in the best shape of his life with intense P90X workouts so, in the summer of 2011, he decided to subject his body to a second round. “As I progressed through the hour-long workout regimen, it didn’t get any easier,”… Read more »

Ann Wertz

Ann Wertz insists her life improved after she was diagnosed with HER2-positive breast cancer in May 2005 at the age of 46.   Cancer didn’t change who she was, it magnified it. Cancer gave Ann’s fighting spirit, kindness and fun-loving personality a platform to be on full display benefiting her supportive and “lead cancer researcher” husband,… Read more »

Rhonda Wilson

Catching Rhonda Wilson on hiatus from her world adventures is no small task.  With an Air Force trained Air Tran pilot for a husband, they take to the skies often.   Treating every day as the miracle it is, Rhonda cites Erma Bombeck’s poem, “If I Had My Life To Live Over” as an ode to… Read more »

Sandra Wood

For most people, 14 years with incurable HER2-positive breast cancer and two re-occurrences would be good reason to wave the white flag.  Not so for Sandra Wood, even though she knew life as she knew it was ending.  Life without cancer would be no more. To Sandra, this long, arduous fight with cancer is worth… Read more »