All posts by Tom Coccagna

Living With…Episode 018 Jennifer Warden, Lymphoma Survivor

Unknown

VegiCouture

Welcome to the show everyone. I hope you are all well!
My guest today holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Administration. She worked briefly as a psychotherapist before opting to stay home and be with her daughter, Olivia.
She also studied the Culinary Arts and is a Certified Nutrition Counselor.
She suffered many health challenges such as lymphoma, diabetes, and high cholesterol. Coupled with her concern for the environment and the ethical treatment of animals, she has found new life and energy consuming a plant-based diet.
She’s the founder of VegiCouture LifeStyle…making veggies fashionable one bite at a time.
Her goal is to provide plant-powered recipes, stories, info and inspiration. And to educate everyone about the power of prevention and to offer encouragement to those with health issues.

Links For This Show

Living With…Episode 017 Terri Wingham, Breast Cancer Survivor

Unknown

A Fresh Chapter

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

My Guest today makes it very clear that she is not defined by her cancer. She is a traveler, writer, photographer, audacious dreamer, and explorer, with a passion for seeing new places.

In October 2009, she underwent a lumpectomy, lymph node dissection, four rounds of chemotherapy, and a bilateral mastectomy. She was experiencing feelings of isolation, depression, survivor guilt, and anger.

In January of 2011, facing an upcoming final reconstruction surgery, she was searching for inspiration and decided to quit her six-figure job and set off in the Spring of 2011 on a six-week volunteer program to Cape Town with Cross-Cultural Solutions. She says her experience working with children at an underfunded daycare changed her forever.

After her time in Africa, she returned to Vancouver, packed up her belongings, and started a trip around North America to talk about what she calls her “Big Hairy Audacious Dream” to create a foundation to help other people expand their stories beyond cancer.

Then, she set off on an Adventure of Hope, a six-month, five-continent trip that laid the groundwork for her Fresh Chapter Alliance Foundation.

In February of 2013, she took 12 participants and a documentary film maker to India to analyze their model for volunteering as a healing mechanism.

In 2015, she plans to expand the North American program to major cities across the United States as well as return to India and pilot their first program in Africa.

Links For This Episode

 

Living With…Episode 016 Jean LaMantia, Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor

images

The Cancer Survivor’s Nutrition Voice of Reason

Welcome to the show everyone. I hope you are well.

My guest today is a Registered Dietitian in Toronto, Ontario.
At the age of 27, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
She had masses in her neck, under her arms, and in her chest. When she was admitted to the cancer center, she could barely breathe. Her lungs were filling with lymphatic fluid.

Her mother was a nurse and her father a green grocer, with his own store. It was while working in the store that she became aware of the importance of healthy eating to good health. Subsequently, she found her true passion and studied human nutrition in college.
She’s the best selling author of “The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide and Cookbook”, and editor of the Canadian Dietitian Oncology Network Newsletter.

She says she has spent her entire adult life collecting, analyzing, and distilling an incredible amount of knowledge about nutrition, about cancer, and about that area where the two overlap. And she has applied that knowledge in her own life, and the lives of countless others.

She’s been both a patient during her battle with cancer and a caregiver during her father’s battle with the disease.

Links For This Episode

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

19130_10151464579391802_1552928016_n

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.

Links For This Episode

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

0dd9a7c61d83d77ff06100221473a212_400x400

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.

 Links For This Episode

 

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

Unknown

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.

Links For This Episode

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

l

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”.

Links for this Episode

Living With…Episode 011 Howard Bressler, Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia & Stevens Johnson Syndrome Survivor

 

1511584_897727176909405_3826937598120544576_n

 Howard Bressler

Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) & Stevens Johnson Syndrome Survivor

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

My guest today was diagnosed with Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia (APL) in August 2000 at the age of 33. With the support of his wife and young daughters he started treatment for the disease, which included high-dose chemotherapy, and experimental treatment with arsenic trioxide. This treatment has since become part of the standard treatment protocol for APL patients. He has also suffered through bouts with Stevens Johnson Syndrome, which involves a separation of the skin’s dermis and epidermis layers.
He’s been practicing law in New York City for more than twenty years, dealing with toxic tort or chemical exposure, product liability and environmental actions.
His work has involved extensive research to determine if and how toxic exposure may cause illness. His own illness has helped him explain these issues in terms that judges, juries and non-scientists can understand.
He is the author of The Layman’s Guide To Surviving Cancer: From Diagnosis Through Treatment And Beyond.
In the book he uses his extensive research experience to explain the onset, progression and treatment of cancer in terms the reader will understand. Workplace rights and estate planning are also covered in the book.

Links for this Episode

Living With…Episode 010 Richard London, Prostate Cancer & Parkinson’s Disease Survivor

images

Richard London

Prostate Cancer & Parkinson’s Disease Survivor

My guest today is a cancer survivor, Parkinson’s patient, and a successful entrepreneur.

He’s an author, public speaker and host of the internet talk show Health Chat.  He lives the concepts he teaches.  Using the philosophy of his A Handbook for Life℠, keynotes and workshops.

He’s developed a thriving real estate investment business and started several computer companies, while overcoming multiple financial and physical obstacles.  He has two children and is happily married to his wife of 28 years.  He’s a third degree black belt and has practiced and taught martial arts for over 27 years.  He also has his commercial pilot’s license and was a major in the Civil Air Patrol.

At 19 he was in a life changing motorcycle accident that put him in and out of hospitals for ten months.  He has had a total of nine operations as a result of his accident.

In 2003 he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and is now an eleven year cancer survivor.  Two years after his cancer surgery he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but he has never let his spirits down.

 Links For This Episode

Living With…Episode 009 Steve Brown, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Survivor and Ultra Athlete

140428 steve brown 1

Steve Brown, Remission Man

My guest today is the creator of the popular blog remissionman.com
He was a standout college soccer player, receiving Most Valuable Player recognition and The Distinguished Alumni Award for his charitable work in his community.
Since 1987, he has racked up countless triathlons and multisport events of all distances including marathons, ultra marathons, and ironman triathlons with many top age group finishes.
In February of 2006, his life changed dramatically when he was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) for which he underwent four rounds of chemotherapy.
He maintained his baseline fitness level, often running home from his treatments and quickly reached complete remission. Just 7 months after his diagnosis, “RemissionMan” crossed the finish line of his 8th career iron distance triathlon. (2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2-mile run).
His diagnosis drew him to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program where he signed on as a Triathlon Coach.
He works closely with organizations such as The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Grassroot Soccer, and HEADstrong Foundation in promoting and supporting their events. He is also a member of Team Inspiration whose mission is to empower individuals living with cancer by developing exercise & wellness programs that improve their physical, mental, and spiritual quality of life.
If that isn’t enough, he is also an author of several books which talk about everything from fitness and triathlon, to his cancer diagnosis and his passion for living life to the fullest.
He has also been a featured guest on several radio, TV and internet broadcast programs.
In both 2012 and 2013 his leukemia returned. Again he underwent additional rounds of treatment and safely reached remission. And again, he used endurance sports as a weapon in his arsenal against cancer.

 Links For This Show