Warrior Stories

Your stories about loss, strength and the resiliency of the human spirit

Alison Lee’s Warrior Story

Alison Lee

My name is Alison Lee, and I was diagnosed with Lupus at 16 years old.

My only symptoms at the time were raised skin lesions on my back and abnormal bloodwork, so I could easily ignore my lupus diagnosis. I was able to function normally throughout college and my first few years working.

But in 2008, my Lupus started to flare, and one by one, different parts of my body acted up. I landed in the hospital several times a year with anemia, shortness of breath, congestive heart failure… you name it. I became the walking definition of the havoc Lupus can cause. I fought so hard to pretend everything was normal, working full-time in marketing and continuing to travel and socialize. But in 2014 it all caught up with me.

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Justis James’ Warrior Story

Justis James & Leia

Justis was a normal teenage kid. He played soccer and video games, loved math and the Philadelphia 76ers.

In 2015, Justis graduated from Notre Dame De Lourdes in Swarthmore, PA. He loved hanging out with his classmates and enjoyed making them laugh as much as possible. He was a connector and he always made sure that everyone was included. After Justis graduated 8th Grade, we moved from our lifelong home in Delaware County, Pennsylvania to our new home near Atlanta, Georgia. Justis acclimated well to his new surroundings and school and began making friends within a few months. He maintained a 4.0 GPA at South Forsyth HS and continued playing soccer for the next 2 years but on Tuesday, January 24th, 2017, our lives were changed forever.

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Jessica Lynn Heagy’s Warrior Story

Jessica Lynn Heagy

In 2005 I discovered I have a rare sporadic autoinflammatory disease called Muckle-Wells Syndrome that causes me chronic pain and many health challenges. The incidence of Muckle-Wells Syndrome has been reported to be approximately 1 in 1,000,000 people in the United States.

I had a banking career going strong. I was doing some modeling; I had a good life with my daughter and my parents. All of the sudden pain. Lots of it, and it was unrelenting. Every day by noon, I felt like I had the flu. I would develop fevers, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, swollen ankles, red sore lesions, and inflammation throughout my entire body.

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Saranne Rothberg’s Warrior Story

Saranne Rothberg Comedy Cures Foundation
Saranne Rothberg

In February of 1999, Saranne Rothberg, a single mother of a 5-year old daughter, was diagnosed with an aggressive stage 2 breast cancer that would later develop into a stage 4 Triple Negative breast cancer diagnosis.

Devastated by the news, Saranne remembered an article that she had read about a man named Norman Cousins. Norman authored the book, “Anatomy of An Illness;” a book about how the power of laughter and positivity can heal the body. With Norman in mind, Saranne ran hastily to the local video store and loaded up on comedy videos.

It took tremendous courage to hold back the floodgate of tears as she put her little girl, Lauriel, to bed. “How many more bedtime stories will I read to her?” “Will I be strong enough to bathe her after chemo starts?”

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Larry Indiviglia’s Warrior Story

Larry Indiviglia

My name is Larry Indiviglia and I am a cancer survivor.  I was diagnosed with stage 1 colorectal cancer in 2015.  

My cancer experience led me to a woman named Gayle, who I met online on Jan 6, 2020. For two actively aging seniors, in our sixties, we fell madly in love against all odds; Gayle was battling Stage 4 breast cancer (4 years).  

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Glenn Sabin’s Warrior Story

Glenn Sabin

In the fall of 1991 at the age of 28, a routine physical exam with my primary care physician swiftly changed from its predictable pattern and transformed into a shocking diagnosis of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL).      

I was given a dire prognosis: six months to live. 

Apparently I’d had the disease for some time; my spleen was significantly enlarged.  A normal spleen weighs about two-and-a-half pounds.  Mine was seven—infiltrated by five pounds of leukemic cells. Two months later, I underwent a splenectomy to de-bulk the tumor burden.

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