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Inspiring Survival Stories

How I Survived … Cancer’s Relentless Grind

I’ve been diagnosed three times—when I was 18, 20, and 22. Hodgkin’s lymphoma, every time.The first time was just before I started college. I had a recurring fever and the antibiotics weren’t working. So I went to the doctor just to make sure I didn’t have pneumonia. I got a chest X-ray and they found an 8-centimeter mass sitting on the left side of my heart.

How I Survived … My Baby’s Heart Defect

The oldest of my five children is 13, and Carlee, my youngest, was born last July. The pregnancy was normal, and there was nothing unusual about the delivery. Her evaluation was good; she seemed fine. Then they ran a pulse oximetry heart-defect screening test, something they’d just started doing nine days earlier because of a new state law.

Medical School

Kiah Bertoglio, 27, of Orange, a fourth-year medical student at UC Irvine, discusses the pressure she puts on herself to succeed.

An Improbable Accident

Tiffany Cruz, 24, recalls a freak electrical shock she and her teenage sister experienced in her parent’s Garden Grove swimming pool.

Hitting the Wall

Suzanne Maldonado-Rael, 34, of La Mirada, on how her heart stopped after the Surf City USA Marathon, and the fellow runner who saved her life.

Bipolar Disorder

Lisa Becker, 42, of Costa Mesa, tells writer Michael Goldstein about regaining control of her life and how she’s helping others do the same.

My Son’s Spinal Cord Injury

Dale Hahn, 50, tells writer Rachel Powers about family, sacrifice, and the decision to care for his son after a life-altering accident.