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Peter’s Journey from Survivor to Researcher

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Peter was 11 years old when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma and went through 9 months of treatment. When he finished treatment, he immediately got involved with NWSF, organizing the Strike Out Sarcoma softball game with his mom and another Ewing’s survivor. Throughout high school, Peter continued his involvement with NWSF through speaking engagements and volunteer work.

Peter is currently studying psychology, will graduate from Gonzaga University in May 2020 and is actively applying to Masters & PhD programs in Clinical Psychology. He hopes to specialize in Clinical Health Psychology and study the long-term physical, neurocognitive, and psychosocial effects of pediatric cancers on survivors. He is also interested in how adversity can foster resilience in survivors.

Peter credits his family with helping him to get through this journey. He would like to offer parent training for parents of sarcoma patients and survivors because he believes having strong and informed parents is vital for successful child development.

Peter’s advice to sarcoma patients: “Despite the obstacles cancer treatment creates, it’s possible to live an incredibly fulfilling life. In order to get to that point, patients and survivors have to learn how to adapt to setbacks and limitations. As you face challenges and adversity, you become better at finding work-arounds that allow you to live the life you want. That’s why I think it’s crucial for survivors to learn how to be adaptive and flexible. I also don’t think sarcoma survivors should be afraid to share their stories. It’s important to be honest and open if you can.”

Peter credits the board and staff at NWSF with helping him to explore opportunities and discover a field that aligns with his passion. “I don’t know where I would be if I had not had the help and support of NWSF. They have opened doors and created a path that has allowed me to explore my passion for research. They have played a huge role in my professional development.”

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