Fighting Rare Cancer Leads to New Outlook on Life

Following his full recovery, Bob Baker is embracing a new, positive outlook on life. (Photo:Bob Baker)

Perspective has the power to change people. It can bring new meaning to the seemingly mundane and cultivate a newfound sense of wonder about the world around us.

For Bob Baker, a cancer diagnosis was the beginning of a long journey that ultimately led to a shift in priorities and a message to others: perspective and perseverance can make all the difference.

Viewing the world through a different lens

Bob was in his mid-40s with an active lifestyle when he began noticing changes in his health. That was in 2014. Fast-forward to 2019, and Bob has made a full recovery from a lengthy list of life-changing health issues including a rare cancer diagnosis, surgery to remove cancer-related tumors, heart surgery, and a second cancer diagnosis. Looking back on the last five years, Bob says he feels fortunate and blessed today.

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Running for His Life: Why One Cancer Patient Refuses to Give Up


Ronald Strickland slept on his son’s bedroom floor a few weeks ago. He built a pallet piled with blankets and pillows at the special request of his son, who is five years old and has never known his father without cancer.

They fell asleep together, but Ronald woke up in the morning alone.

Ronald credits his family for their support throughout his cancer journey. (Photo: Ronald Strickland)

He laughed as he recalled how he outlasted his son, who crawled back into his own bed in the middle of the night. It’s a treasured memory he’s been waiting years to create, because when you have cancer, Ronald said, the little moments in life mean the most.

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Bringing New Meaning to Fun in the Sun: Moving on After Melanoma

Billie Elder loves the outdoors. It’s how she was raised – spending days walking her dogs, swimming, soaking in the sun. It’s how she raised her own children. And, it’s how she planned to begin her retirement.

  When it came to plans, Billie had big ones: travel, a house renovation, and active dogs she loved taking outside. With children, grandchildren and friends in Florida, Georgia and Texas, Billie and her husband were looking forward to the road ahead.

But Billie’s intuition was telling her something wasn’t quite right. Her energy levels had waned. She was exhausted and having trouble breathing. When everyday activities like taking a shower and going out to dinner became more than Billie could bear, she knew she had to see her doctor.

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Barry Howe: Like Father, Like Son, and Like Grandfather – When Cancer is All in the Family

After fighting cancer, Barry and his wife Monica are looking forward to the future. (Photo: Barry Howe)

They say lightning never strikes the same place twice, but Barry Howe knows better.

He watched his father pass away from lung cancer. His grandfather died from complications due to cancer, and numerous aunts and uncles received cancer diagnoses in their lifetimes as well.

It’s devastating to watch it happen to those you love – it can feel like the sky is falling when it happens to you.

Barry’s world turned upside down in October 2004 when he was diagnosed with colon cancer. Three months later in January 2005, the unthinkable happened: Barry was diagnosed with a second primary cancer – thyroid cancer.

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