Our members embody the meaning of courage, which according to the Merriam Webster dictionary is “The mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger, fear or difficulty.”

Each member story is unique, but all reflect the intrinsic courage of those who face the challenges of cancer head on, with dignity, strength and passion for life.

Take a moment to listen to their voices.

Be amazed by what real courage looks like.

Member Stories are below.
If you would like to contribute your story, or, that of a loved one, please email us today. Feel free to include any images you would like us to use!
Also visit our In Memoriam section and our In Memoriam website to light a candle for love ones that have passed.

Member Stories

  • April and Mary Catherine Stephens

April Stephens, Long-Term Survivor

The average GIST patient is in their 50s or older when diagnosed with GIST. The rare exception is usually a pediatric SDH- deficient GIST, but April’s case is a case of ‘the rarest of the rare’ in that she was only 20 years old when she first encountered GIST and was not SDH-deficient.

  • Christine Gonzales green earrings

GIST & Creativity – Gewelry for GIST with Christine Gonzales

Christine, a former elementary school  teacher, is raising three sons with husband Adam, in New Mexico. She doesn’t feel that creativity has always had a place in her life, but teaching elementary school always provides opportunities for innovation and creative thinking so perhaps it’s a matter of perspective.

  • Claire Monaghan quilt 3

GIST & Creativity – Art Quilter, Crafter, Teacher Claire Monaghan

GIST happened soon after her first quilt was accepted into a quilt exhibit and after participating in her first holiday craft show last December. Every GIST patient has a unique story about how they were diagnosed and where their journey takes them but Claire can literally credit a recurrence of her sister's ovarian cancer in January as the reason she found her GIST tumor.

  • Oasis by May+ Watkins Design

GIST & Creativity – Sculptor & Public Artist, Tim Watkins

You may have spotted a creation by May & Watkins Design and not even realized it. They create public art, or industrial sculptures – art that is commissioned for public spaces. The partnership of artists, Carol May and Tim Watkins, began after meeting as 20-somethings on scholarship at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine.

Core Values