More Than a Cancer Patient

After retiring from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Janet relished volunteering with her church, birdwatching, traveling, and cherishing moments with her husband, children and friends.

However, 2022 brought a devastating diagnosis of pancreatic cancer following unexplained bouts of pancreatitis. This propelled Orlando Health into an unexpected and yet significant role in Janet’s life. With her newly formed care team beside her and a determined spirit, Janet took on surgery and chemotherapy that stretched her mental and physical toughness beyond anything she’d ever encountered. “My care team provided detailed explanations and visual aids, guiding me through surgery, recovery, and the treatment plan. They offered unwavering support, with someone always just a phone call away for my anxiety, stress, or need to talk,” Janet shared.“My family had the same access. I received remarkable care.” After skilled surgery and an extremely strong chemotherapy regimen, Janet was able to ring the bell – signifying the end of her treatment – with her team right beside her.

Throughout her treatment, Janet always felt she was treated as a wife, mom and grandmother rather than just a cancer patient. Today, she is enjoying extended time with her husband, children and grandchildren – getting manicures, shopping and enjoying her granddaughter, Claire’s, basketball games. “There is hope, and that is good,” Janet says as she smiles.

As we look to the future, the Orlando Health Cancer Institute needs your help to expand key programs and technologies. To donate to support innovative treatment options, such as those for pancreatic cancer, please visit

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