Revisiting our favorite blogs of 2022

Victory Bell Jody Czaja & Robyn Gilmartin with Martha Hickey June 2022

Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is filled with stories. 

Every day, our patients come in to talk with their doctors and care team, sharing stories of their struggles, their victories of all sizes, their setbacks and their hopes. 

Our doctors, inspired by those stories, continue to innovate and develop new treatments and therapies for these patients, and the ones who will follow, in the hopes of creating better tools to fight cancer. Maybe one day they'll tell the story of how they developed a cure, or preventive measures that can help reduce someone's risk altogether. 

Each year, we are granted the opportunity to tell these stories and hear hundreds of others, and we're so fortunate enough to share them with the world. 

As we look back on 2022, we wanted to take the opportunity to give another look to some of those stories, from our patients and our doctors, that we were able to tell this year. We're looking forward to bringing even more innovations, more inspiring personal accounts, more staff profiles and more stories of hope, strength and perseverance to light in 2023. 

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1. Fighting cancer together: Marilyn and Kevin's story

February 14, 2022

Kevin and Marilyn Sittniewski, wearing gray shirts that read "Leukemia Warrior," ring the Victory Bell together after they both beat cancer.

Marilyn and Kevin Sittniewski have been together and married for more than three decades. They have two beautiful daughters, Christie and Kelly, a tight-knit family, friends they travel to visit and a full life of work and fun. Over the years, they’ve shared quite a lot, but they never expected to share leukemia.

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2. Roswell Park CARES for our community

September 6, 2022

A group of elected officials join Candace Johnson, center, President and CEO of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, along with leadership from Seneca Babcock Community Center and Buffalo Adult and Teen Challenge, to open new classrooms at Seneca Babcock. They hold a long purple ribbon.

The CARES Program was established in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to help our community and neighbors through a difficult time but has evolved to include providing grant funding to nonprofit organizations looking to expand their own services and programs. “We’re part of this community. We need to pay it forward to this community.”

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3. Is breast pain a sign of cancer? 

January 14, 2022

Breast lumps

“Breast cancer is a terrible disease so people think it must be painful. That’s not the case for breast cancer,” Dr. Takabe says.

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4. Married at Roswell Park after 47 years: "We take care of each other"

September 15, 2022

Patricia McMullen, left, and Stanley Dayan were married at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center after being together for 47 years.

“Roswell Park has done so much for my husband,” she said a few hours before the ceremony. “I feel like it’s good to get married here. In some ways, it feels very apt. You don’t know what’s going to happen. That’s all part of the picture. Who would know they’d get married at Roswell Park?”

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5. Meet the Team: Pediatric Nurses

September 8, 2022

The pediatric department at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center works closely with patients and their caregivers.

The littlest cancer fighters need special nurses — they help children, some too young to talk or understand what’s happening, through a scary and difficult time, while also comforting and supporting their parents and caregivers.

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6. The importance of early screening for lung cancer

October 12, 2022

EDDY: Early Detection Driven to You!

“By lowering the age recommendation and lowering the threshold of smoking exposure, we are able to screen more people in these groups and pick up more of their cancers earlier.”

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7. Testicular cancer at 23: Erik's story

February 1, 2022

Erik Gorenflo YA Patient Story

“I’ve had literally hundreds, if not thousands, of people messaging me like ‘My cousin, brother, uncle, dad is going through something similar, what advice do you have?’ I’m happy to talk to them.”

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8. Is bruising a symptom of cancer?

August 25, 2022

Person touches their knee, which appears to be bruised.

“That’s why it’s important to get bloodwork done to get things checked out. If you have a normal platelet count, normal white blood cell count and your blood test is normal, it could be you just had extra trauma without realizing it, or you could have taken too much aspirin."

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9. Meet the Team: Renier Brentjens, MD, PhD

June 24, 2022

Scientist sitting in a lab

“We owe these patients, and the public, that we do our trials in a very thoughtful manner so that even if the patient enrolled in the trial doesn't clinically benefit, they'll know their trial led to the next step."

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10. Roswell Park elevates patient experience with new salon

May 26, 2022

Elevate Salon Opening - stylists May 2022

“Our goal is to help patients regain their sense of empowerment, to feel more like themselves again and to remember that it’s all about allowing their inner beauty to shine through,” says Resource Center Manager Martha Hickey. “At Elevate Salon, we provide a respite for patients where they can feel comfortable and understood in an uplifting environment.”

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Editor’s Note: Cancer patient outcomes and experiences may vary, even for those with the same type of cancer. An individual patient’s story should not be used as a prediction of how another patient will respond to treatment. Roswell Park is transparent about the survival rates of our patients as compared to national standards, and provides this information, when available, within the cancer type sections of this website.