Patient Stories

Suse Skinner, 70, who is receiving treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia at OHSU, talks with Drs. Brian Druker and Uma Borate. (OHSU/Kristyna Wentz-Graff)

The hope of targeted therapy

Joe and Jodi Whitton at their home in Newberg, OR.

Jodi Whitton's family took her to a nearby hospital to be treated for what they thought was a bad case of pneumonia. It was there that she learned she had Stage 4 lung cancer. The attending physician offered little hope, advising her to go into hospice care. Joe Whitton, Jodi's husband of 48 years, was unwilling to accept the news: "If she wasn't here, I don't know what I'd do. I'd be lost." The couple decided to seek a second opinion. The Whittons turned to OHSU where they met with Dr. Gary Takahashi. Today, Jodi is cancer free. Read more

A performance to remember

Suse Skinner wrote and performed a song to thank the staff who have helped her during treatment.

Suse Skinner lights up the room with her smile, positivity, and humor. A breast cancer survivor, she is now battling acute myeloid leukemia. In August 2016, she was admitted to OHSU for her first induction chemotherapy session where she underwent 24/7 chemotherapy for six days followed by six weeks of recovery. Suse wrote and performed the song, "The Good Ship OHSU" to demonstrate her gratitude to everyone on her care team: the nurses; her physicians Dr. Uma Borate, and Dr. Rachel Cook; the cafeteria staff; and the people who keep her room "comfortable and clean." Read more 

Thriving with love, wisdom and gratitude

Pamela Feidelson_120x150

Pamela Feidelson's cancer journey began at a routine check-up with her gynecologist. At 38 years old, three words changed her life: You have cancer. Following three months of chemotherapy, a single mastectomy, reconstruction, and several hairstyles, she is cancer free. It's been almost ten years since her diagnosis and she says cancer is no longer something she thinks about every day, but she's mindful of how precious life is and fills hers with love, wisdom and gratitude. Read more

Fighting cancer with positivity and a personal army

Matt McCallum

Matt McCallum was in the best shape of his life and training for a half marathon when it started: the exhaustion, headaches and body pains. Then, at a chiropractor appointment, he fainted. His fiancé, Gabi, rushed him to an emergency department and Matt was hospitalized for 21 days. In June 2014, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and underwent a bone marrow transplant at OHSU later that year. Read more