Jeffery Mortimer

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 In Memory of Jeffery Mortimer

It is hard to write a tribute about Jeff, not because he wasn't a man who changed the lives of everyone he met and not because he wasn't an inspiration to those people also, but...because he is gone.  My hand to hold...Jeff passed away July 1st, 2012, after years of fighting like a soldier against Sarcoma cancer.
 
We found out 3 weeks before we were supposed to be married, that his cancer had come back. We were devastated, but we knew we were going to fight no matter what!! Giving up was definitely not his motto nor was it mine!!  We then formed Jeff's Warriors with family and friends to join us in our journey to fight this deadly disease!  Jeff was an inspiration to everyone he knew even people who just met him.  He had a heart bigger then he was and was the type of friend we all should be. You never got a wishy, washy Jeff.  He told you how it was and how he felt! 
 
Jeff wanted to give back and find a cure for Sarcoma cancer.  Really, cancer of any kind. He was all about research and wanted to be the person they went to for help, and they did come to him.  Jeff you could say, always paid it forward even before it was popular.  Ask his friends and they will tell you what kind of man Jeff was.  I know because I was married and with him for 5 years.  Your life changes when you get a diagnosis of that nature. We held on tight to each other and our friends and family and fought like hell to get thru the cancer.  Jeff never gave up...We never gave up...
 
Jeff's legacy is in the doctors that worked with him.  Many of the things Jeff went thru and the things he participated in, have helped other cancer patients immensley. Also  because of Jeff, the doctors know how to take better care of the cancer patients they treat.
 
Jeff was not afraid to die, he just did not want to die now.
 
Jeff's Warriors will continue to fight and NEVER EVER give up!!!...he didn't
 
You will be in our hearts forever..the man with the cap on backwards and the DC tennis shoes to match!!!
 
The end
 
      Karen Mortimer
      
   jk         nwsf-jeffmortimer2 

Joshua Isaac

In Memory of Joshua Isaac

Joshua Isaac first discovered epithelioid sarcoma in his hand in 1998. Over the course of ten years he's tried multiple chemos, radiations and surgeries including amputation of his left hand to eradicate the disease. Unfortunately he continues to battle the cancer today. A corporate communications writer for 12 years, currently at Microsoft Corporation, Joshua uses creativity to help deal with the situation. In 2007 he completed a documentary about his experience called, "My Left Hand" and continues to share his struggles on his blog. This Seattle native is married to wife Kim and has two young sons, Jacob and Sam and a baby daughter Sophie.

To view the video trailer for the documentary "My Left Hand", click here.

Gage D.

In Memory of Gage D.

Gage was 3 when he was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma in June of 2005, then treatment related AML Oct. 2006, had a bone marrow transplant Feb. 2007, then was diagnosed with Ewings recurrance Feb. 2008. He completed his treatment on June 20, 2008. The following is his story.

It began on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 with a bike accident where Gage split open his chin and was rushed to the ER for plastic surgery. The next day, he slipped on our wet concert patio and landed hard on his bottom. We began to notice that he was walking as if his back hurt and was bending down with a straight back. On Thursday and into that evening he complained of acute stomach pain. It was so bad that he was crying in pain and could not sleep at all. We went to the pediatrician, but our regular doctor was not available. We discussed that Gage had similar pain a few month earlier that went away after 3 days. At that time our pediatrician thought it was a virus or constipation.

The acute pain continued over the weekend and none of us were sleeping. We went back to the pediatrician on May 31, 2005. Gage had an abdominal x-ray and later that week an ultrasound. Nothing abnormal was found. We went through another rough weekend of pain and no sleep and went back to the pediatrician on June 6, 2005 and decided Gage should have a CT Scan.

On June 8, 2005, we had the CT Scan and Trux insisted the technician check the spine. We thought the bike accident might have caused some damage. The order was just for the stomach area and it was against protocol to scan outside the order. But, luckily the technician heard our concerns and found the tumor next to Gage's spine, pushing on the spinal cord.

June 9th we had the MRI and the doctors thought it was Neuroblastoma, then June 10th was the operation to remove the part of the tumor pressing on Gage's spinal cord and causing the pain. On June 17th, after all the pathology came in, it was determined the cancer was actually Ewings Sarcoma.

The cancer had not spread, it was under 5cm, Gage is young, and the LDH tests were low ... all good. The negative is the location and they could not operate to get it all. The plan was Chemo to reduce the tumor, Proton Therapy radiation (Mass General Hospital, Boston) as an alternative to an operation. Our protocol was a 6 week treatment.

April 2006 was Gage's final chemo treatment and after post scans they found the tumor was gone. Gage was in remission. On Oct. 5th, Gage had his 6 month scans. The scans were clear, but his platelet counts were low. After many tests, we found out Gage has secondary leukemia (AML). Gage endured a bone marrow transplant on Feb. 21, 2007 and was in remission for 8 months. Then, during a routine Ewings Sarcoma follow-up MRI, a mass was found in the original location on Gage's rib. Surgery was done to resect the mass and as a result sections of 3 ribs were taken as well. The pathology confirmed it was Ewings Sarcoma again. It was a painful recovery but Gage was determined not to stop him.

Gage again endured chemotherapy. This time the treatment was Cytoxin/Topotecan regime. Because of Gage's new bone marrow the doctors were not sure how he will handle the treatment or if he would complete it. The goals was 6 treatments and my husband and I started investigating ways to keep his body strong through treatment. We consulted with a Naturapath specializing in cancer and a Chinese Medicine doctor, also a cancer specialists. We came up with a suppliment plan: accupuncture, Omega-3 suppliment, Probiotics and juicing. Gage completed his treatment with no infections, complications, need for blood products or hospitalizations. We completed treatment on July 20, 2008. Gage continues to stay on the supportive supplemental plan and will be starting preventative herbs, from our TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) doctor for AML and Sarcomas. We have been consulting with our Oncologists and we delayed starting herbs until Gage was off chemo and immunosuppressants for 3 months.

Gage started school again and has been active, happy, busy, energetic and just getting stronger every day.

Ty W

In Memory Of Ty W

Born and raised in Lewiston, Idaho, he left to conquer the world. Working for many politicians and pizza joints, he found the world a cold and unforgiving place. He moved back home where he lives with his pride of women, Angie, his wife, and 3 beautiful daughters, Tyler Marie (9), Makayla Rose (6), and Alexandria Rene (4).

In the spring of 2007 he was diagnosed with osteo-sarcoma..."bone cancer". He was not going down without a fight, and began a year and a 1/2 of chemotherapy and a bone replacement (femur). He decided that waiting around, doing nothing, and waiting to die was not the way to live life, so he started a comic book company, Alternate Reality Comics. Realizing he had a talent, A.R. comics became a reality and are now sold in Seattle, Olympia, Pullman, and his hometown of Lewiston. But, as entertaining as all this was, he had a purpose!

That was when Captain Cure entered the scene! Bone cancer affects a lot of children, and he knew that he had to help them, but how? He started writing and doodling and came up with Captain Cure. This revolutionary comic to explain cancer, chemotherapy, and its effects was born with an image. This comic also helps parents, loved ones and other children better understand the process, and its evil toll on mankind.

Though recently re-diagnosed with the cancer spreading into his lungs he continues to write and draw Captain Cure and wants to hit the streets in October!

Brian Dean Reynolds

Brian Dean Reynolds

d. December 20, 2007

Brian Dean Reynolds, 46, died on December 20, 2007 after an inspiring and courageous 15 year battle with cancer. He will be dearly missed by his many friends, family members and co-workers. Brian lived his life as a true example of spirit, tenacity and of overcoming incredible odds. He never lost his humble and unassuming nature, nor his love of life and unbeatable belief in what life had to offer. Even as a young man growing up playing football in Bend Oregon in high school, he was voted "most inspirational" by his teammates.

Brian was born in Bend, Oregon on November 4, 1961 to Paul and Ann Reynolds. He was raised in Bend and graduated from high school there. Brian graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in business and he remained a die hard Beavers fan to the very end.

Brian recently resigned his job as CFO at Rejuvenation Houseparts. He loved his work there, as well as his co workers. He was employed there for 12 years and developed very deep friendships during that time. Brian was recently selected as one of three finalists for CFO of the Year, by the Portland Business Journal. In addition, Brian and Gail are owners of Vestiges Storefront in Portland. Brian was instrumental in helping Gail set up her dream, even when his health was failing.

Brian was married to Gail Shepard in 1981. They have a wonderful daughter, Valerie, who graduated from USC with a degree in Architecture. She was the light of his life. Gail and Brian were able to join her in Italy, where she was doing a study abroad - truly a trip of a lifetime.

Brian was an avid and determined bicyclist - completing several organized cycling events, including the Livestrong ride, Cycle Oregon, as well as the Reach the Beach ride, in which he was the top fund raiser for 5 years. Cycling became his passion and his "treatment" for his cancer and overall health. He was active with the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and had served on the Board of Directors for that organization.

Brian's journey and struggle has been so inspiring that a documentary has been made about his journey with cancer, cycling and the power of realizing love and compassion in life. His desire was that the documentary would help other people in their lives.

In addition to his wife Gail and daughter Valerie, Brian is survived by his parents Paul and Ann Reynolds of Lake Tahoe, Nevada; two brothers, Mark of Bend, Oregon, Bruce Reynolds of Baltimore, Maryland, and his beloved nieces and nephews who adored him.

The family wishes to acknowledge the ongoing love and support from friends and the community who learned of his story and made it a point to pass the story along, through a variety of media sources.

To learn more about Brian please view the short video trailer for his documentary in our video section.

Angela Andrews

Angela Andrews

May 10, 1955 (Belvedere, CA)- November 30, 2008 ( Tigard, OR)

Our Journey

Our journey began when we first set our eyes on each other
It took our many pathways crossing before we started dating
As I struggled with commitment you put my mind at ease
We got married after we knew we were meant to be
As our travels took us near and afar
It was always good times no matter where we were
Now any destination was perfect since we were together
Life just kept getting better and better
Our journey changed when illness struck
An illness that took you head-on with determination and prayer
We spent more time with each other and learning what was important to us
Every moment of every day was more and more precious
Time spent with each other was always cherished
True family and friends surrounded us to support our mission
Everything else was now secondary in life as we learned to listen
Now that you lay here before me you look so peaceful
A reminder of all of our special moments we spent on our journey
Two hearts eternally melded together, you and me
A cure would have been perfect but, it was not to be
Our journey here is now coming to an end
But have no fear my sweet princess we will meet again

Written by Steve Andrews-November 21, 2008

Angela Andrews
May 10, 1955 (Belvedere, CA)- November 30, 2008 ( Tigard, OR)
The Light of God surrounds us
The Love of God enfolds us
The Power of God protects us

Russell Sawicki

Russell Sawicki

 

I would like to share with you the life of a very wonderful young man, my son Russell Sawicki. He was diagnosed with Epitheloid Sarcoma 5 years ago. After a very brave and hard struggle, he lost his life last July 8th surrounded by his dad, brother, mother, fiancé', her family and a very dear friend. He lived his life to the fullest even when he felt awful.

He was a very kind and gentle young man and was always able to put people at ease with his amazing smile and wit. We don't know why he was taken from us at such a young age. He had so much to live for and so much ahead of him, but I do know that while he was here and even now that he is gone, he is not forgotten.

He is not forgotten by his many fraternity brothers and friends from High School. He's not forgotten by the people at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, not by the radiation group in Bellingham, UW Medical Center, nor last but not least by St. Josephs Hospital in Bellingham. Everyone was so wonderful with him and to him. We will never forget the wonderful people we had the privilege to work side by side with during his treatments. His death has left a pretty big hole in our lives, but we know that he wants us to fill it love, thankfulness and gratefulness, so that's what we'll do.

Brandon H.

Brandon H.

 

Ever since I was three years old basketball was my passion, that's all I ever knew and all I ever wanted to do.

In July of 2002, I started feeling pain while with my high school basketball team at Gonzaga University. It wasn't just any pain, this pain was severe. It kept me from sleeping and even walking at times. Unfortunately, my time there at Gonzaga was the last time I would ever step on the court again. After seeing multiple specialists, I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma on Oct 14th, 2002. Osteosarcoma is a rare form of bone cancer that strikes less than a thousand people a year.

Soon after being diagnosed with this disease I started my chemotherapy at Doernbecher Children's Hospital. Chemotherapy was grueling, the stay at the hospital usually lasted 5 days at a time, and I spent about two weeks out of every month in the hospital. On Jan 31st, 2003 I had a total knee replacement. In order to completely get rid of the tumor, the surgeon had to extract the bone. Following the surgery I continued with my therapy up until August of 2003. Due to the chemotherapy, my body broke down and my weight dropped from 155 to 105lbs.

In August of 2003, my body was tested and was found "clean" of cancer. I continued to do therapy on my knee, and started to get back into shape once again. Although I was given the "clean" bill of health, there were still scares of cancer. And the new knee joint had set backs as well.

In August of 2005, I began a new chapter of my life by attending ASU. I thought for sure that I had turned the page as far as cancer goes. At school, due to the size of the campus I walked miles every day. That took a toll on my "new" knee joint. I asked the doctor if the chronic knee pain would ever go away and unfortunately it's just something I had to deal with. That winter the pain was severe. I found out that my knee cap was detached from my knee itself causing extraordinary amounts of pain, but I chose not to drop out of school and had the surgery in May of 2006. Up to that point, I had a total of 8 surgeries.

I recovered from that surgery, and I went over a year without any complications, and in July of 2007, I was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma once again. This time the pain was much more severe, and in three different locations. I had no idea that I had Osteosarcoma, because 95% of the time Osteosarcoma metastasizes in the lungs.

In August of 2007, I began my journey with chemotherapy. This time the doctors were not optimistic about the outcome. I also struggled with optimism at this point because I had mentored two other patients that had succumbed to this disease.

After 4 months of chemotherapy and dieting, I received unusual results. The tumors all began to shrink. The medical staff was pleasantly surprised as well because this form of cancer is very deadly when it comes back. At this point, the first of my three scheduled surgeries is scheduled for Jan 31, 2008. The initial surgery will be very complicated; the surgeon will remove my hip and half of my pelvis. He will replace it with artificial bone and joints. I will also undergo two more surgeries, if everything goes as planned that will remove a rib on each side. I'm "mildly" optimistic about the outcome because the survival rate is still at a slim 20% if all goes well.

The staff that is performing all the procedures is very well known; but because my case is very rare, they have no guidelines to follow for this type of cancer. I'm set on returning to school this next August at ASU, so chemotherapy will likely continue up to that date.

After returning to ASU, I plan on graduating two years later. I want to pursue a "normal" life and giving back to my community. I thought about pursuing basketball as a career maybe in the management side, but my options are open as far as a career goes. I continue to take one day at a time and know that God has a plan. I also know that this cancer is bigger than I am and want to find a cure for this disease.

Esteban Garcia

Esteban Garcia

November 15, 1988 – June 10, 2010

Esteban was born at Overlake Hospital in November to Hilda Pardo and Froylan Garcia. As a kid, he saw some kids playing soccer, asked to join, and continued to play with them for eleven years. He earned numerous awards from his team; placed first in many tournaments as well as team player of the year. When entering middle school, he also took up basketball; also receiving many awards. As he grew older, he had to leave sports to help his single mother. He worked in retail in the morning and as a club promoter at night and weekends.

In May of 2009 he felt a bump behind his knee. He ignored it until the weekend of black Friday of November 2009. He was admitted to the University of Washington Medical Center and had a biopsy. December 15, 2009, he was diagnosed with Clear cell sarcoma. He went through two fail chemotherapy sessions. Throughout his treatment, he NEVER gave up, he kept his humor, his love for life, and his beautiful smile; and would constantly remind everyone “I'm a warrior, I got this.” Even after his leg amputation in April 2010, he smiled and said he would be dancing and walking in no time.

June 10, 2010 Esteban passed away at the young age of 21 at the UWMC in the arms of his mother and sister. Even in his last moments, he showed his love and hope for life. He will be young forever; owning a piece in everyone's hearts. We love and miss you!

Brad Ventura

Brad Ventura

d. June 23, 2009

My brother, Brad, was diagnosed with a Rhabdomyosarcoma February 14, 2008 at the age of 20. He became a patient at Oregon Health Science University where he brought joy to doctors, nurses, other patients, and his many visitors with his positive attitude and constant smile. Brads passion was dancing and during his lengthy hospital stays we would make hospital dancing videos. These often featured nurses and other hospital staff. Brad became well known at OHSU as the "hospital dancer."

His positive attitude and videos inspired many people and continue to inspire us after his death on June 23, 2009. Brad lived his life to the fullest and even though we are saddened to be without such a wonderful person, I know Brad would want us to keep on dancing. I have created a website to share Brad's videos and raise sarcoma awareness. Please visit www.dancingwithbrad.com to see Brads videos and read his story.

Written by his sister Kristin Ventura
Oregon City, OR

All of his videos are on his website www.dancingwithbrad.com but here is a link to my favorite one on Youtube. It starts out with the nurses talking about him and then goes into clips from his various dancing videos.

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If you would like to share your story or make a tribute, please send us your personal sarcoma experience (max. ~500 words), 2 photos (high quality) or link to a YouTube video. Please submit materials to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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