Who inspires you through cancer?

Our readers have inspired us here at CURE for 10 years. In recognition of CURE's 10th anniversary issue and article "Turning 10," which catches up with six people we featured in our first year, we wanted to ask our readers who inspires them. We received so many responses, we couldn't post them all (you can see a selection of photos here). One reader didn't have a photograph, but still wanted to share their story with us. So, we wanted to share them with you, too. Here are just a few of the inspiring and moving submissions we received. I'll try to post more as the week goes on. .................. My sister, Felicia Monticelli (36), inspires me Irena (26). We were diagnosed a year apart. Her stage 4 lung cancer and me Hodgkin's lymphoma. She helped me through my chemo/radiation a year after I helped her through her Tarceva and chemo treatment. In November, after surviving six years, she was told her lung cancer had moved to the brain. Now I am taking care of her again in her final days. I brought her a favorite stuffed animal she has had since she was three. She is on hospice at home and I am taking care of her and helping my 10-year-old niece deal with losing her mom. Felicia has wrapped presents for her until she turns 21. My sister is the strongest person I have ever known and will always inspire me. I feel honored to be her caregiver in her final days. I can only hope to have the strength and grace in life that she has. This is a moment captured to share a very touching, real moment in her final cancer journey. -Irena .................. My father was diagnosed with a rare tumor in 1974 and given six months to live. (I was in 9th grade). He went through a lot, so ill and so much pain. He always kept in good spirits and through experimental surgeries he lived 10 years, passing away at the age of 56. When I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, I drew strength from the positive attitude he had and his desire to live his life as normally as possible. He never lost his wonderful sense of humor. He truly inspired me during those last 10 years of his life and I try, daily, to emulate him. I had a stem cell transplant in 2009 and relapsed in September 2010. I continue to work a 40-hour week and keep a positive attitude and sense of humor. -Rebecca .................. My dog, Fred, stayed by my side during the exhausting months of chemo. We spent many hours just "laying around," with him literally curled up against me, always touching me, and I am convinced he healed me. I'm six years our from my breast cancer diagnosis. My darling Fred was diagnosed with cancer a short time after he supported me through chemo. Many respected spiritual gurus say that our pets love us so much they "absorb" our disease, and I am confident Fred gave me the gift of life. I am thankful for him, thankful to be cancer-free and miss that boy every day! -Debra .................. "Kiss this for good luck!" - Brad .................. You can submit your photo here.