Living With…Episode 015 Donn Angel Perez Lopez, Malignant Brain Tumor Survivor

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Donn Angel Perez Lopez

The Coconot Book: A Story About Faith and Cancer Survival

Welcome to the show everyone! I hope you are all well!

My guest today was born in Venezuela where his passion for art and architecture began.  At the age of 19,  he moved to the United States and eventually received his master’s degree in Architecture from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

He has practiced architecture in various architectural firms in the metropolitan area of Detroit, Michigan and has most recently worked as a college professor and self-supporting designer. Currently he works independently as a freelance architect designer and artist in San Diego, CA.

While starting out in his new career as an architect,  he began experiencing severe dizziness, which became debilitating.  After initially being treated for an ear infection, he was eventually diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor.
He is the author of The Coconot Book: A Story About Faith and Cancer Survival.

He is also working on developing his own art and design studio & gallery. His art is Inspired by topics of survival, nature and recognition of the human spirit.

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Living With…Episode 014 Vanessa Laven, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor

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Vanessa Laven

Mixed Martial Arts & Crafts

Welcome to show everyone! I hope you are all well!
In May 2010 my guest was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Prior to her diagnosis she saw her doctor three times with bronchitis symptoms and each time he assured her that she had either allergies or was asthmatic. He handed her an inhaler and sent her on her way without doing any allergy or asthma tests.

She spent a whole Summer being sick, and not being able to walk across her small apartment without having to stop to catch her breath. She stopped cooking and cleaning because she had to keep taking breaks. She was also having very dry coughing fits that left her gasping for air.

After a second opinion with a cardiologist, X-rays revealed her heart was enlarged and there was concern about the amount of fluid around her heart.  Unfortunately, surgery revealed fluid was caused by a massive tumor around her heart.

She had six rounds of intense chemotherapy to fight her large and aggressive tumor.  She also spent several weeks in the hospital with neutropenic fevers and received several blood and platelet transfusions.

She’s currently in remission and is taking on the world.
She makes sewn and stuffed body parts at Survival Organs and blogs about her life after cancer and her love of knitting and martial arts at  mixedmartialartsandcrafts.com.

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Living With…Episode 013 Robert J.S. Bradford, Ewing’s Sarcoma & Acute Myeloid Leukemia Survivor

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Cancer Activist and Positivity Ambassador

Welcome to the show everyone! I hope you are all well!

My guest today is a cancer activist & positivity ambassador.
He has taken on the monumental task of strengthening positivity in the world as well as bringing awareness to the global issue of cancer.

He’s a Ewing’s Sarcoma and Acute Myeloid Leukemia survivor.
He was three months shy of his 30th birthday when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma a pediatric cancer rarely seen in adults. He had 6 different types of chemotherapy over the course of a year.

He had a surgery that removed the upper half of his humerus bone, replacing it with a bone graft and titanium.
In October of 2012, he got the all clear and at that point asked his future wife to marry him.

Two months before the wedding he was diagnosed with Treatment-Related Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He spent the majority of the next 6 months in a hospital bed. He received a life-saving bone marrow transplant on November 26, 2013.

Now that he has once again been given a clean bill of health, his mission in life is to give back some of the incredible fortune he has been given with regard to his health.

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Living With…Episode 012 Dina Zaphiris, Cancer-Sniffing Dog Trainer & Researcher

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Dina Zaphiris

InSitu Foundation & Dogs Detect Cancer Project

My guest today is an accomplished dog trainer with over 25 years of experience.  She has been the dog trainer to the stars and worked in Search and Rescue with the California Rescue Dog Association.
In 2006 she got involved in training dogs to detect cancer a few months after her mother’s breast cancer diagnosis, when her father gave her a timely article outlining research being conducted by Dr. Michael McCulloch, a cancer researcher at the Pine Street Foundation in San Anselmo, CA.  She was so intrigued by the possibilities of the study, she volunteered to train dogs for the cancer detection research.
In 2009 she created the InSitu Foundation to promote research and training of cancer-sniffing dogs.  Her foundation participated in two federally funded studies, and is seeking FDA approval of a medical scent detection kit.
She is also collaborating with Dr. Jeffrey Marks, PhD, an associate professor of surgery and pathology at Duke University to train dogs to detect breast cancer.
She hopes to open cancer scent detection centers that will utilize the highly sensitive skills of her dogs to detect cancer early and potentially save lives.
She says, “Through the Dogs Detect Cancer Project, we hope to revolutionize early cancer detection methods by providing a 98% accurate, non-invasive and less costly testing alternative”.

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