Stories of Hope

Sarah Cherok

My name is Sarah Cherok. I’m 26 years old, and in April 2016, I was diagnosed with Lymphoma.

I was having trouble breathing, sleeping, eating, and lost almost 40 pounds in just a few months. My family doctor ordered a chest x-ray at Summa Hospital. They quickly realized something was wrong and I was immediately admitted. It was there they found a 10-cm mass in the middle of my chest that was pushing on my heart and making my lungs fill with liquid (the reason why I was having trouble breathing).

My doctors had it biopsied and it was discovered to be Large B-Cell Lymphoma. While I was in Summa, I received the most amazing care from all my doctors and nurses. Everyone was extremely kind, caring, and completely there for my family and me through such a difficult time. Anytime I was in pain, the nurses were right there to help me feel better. They explained everything they were going to do, what to expect in the upcoming months, and were wonderful about answering all my family’s questions. Throughout my six chemo treatments and many trips to the Cooper Cancer Center, everyone we encountered went out of their way to help make things as easy as possible.

What also helped to ease some stress was the support we received from the Stephen A. Comunale, Jr. Family Cancer Foundation. Their generosity helped me take care of my car payments while I was out of work. It was such a relief to have one less thing to worry about while I dealt with getting myself better. The Comunale Foundation does many wonderful things to help cancer patients and their families. They have a Sunshine Bag program where volunteers pass out colorful bags with all kinds of great items in them to help make patients and their families smile and remind them to take everything one day at a time.

It’s been over a year now and I am healthy, happy, and grateful for every day. I wouldn’t be here without the help and support of my family, friends, and the wonderful care I got from Summa, the Cooper Cancer Center and the Stephen A. Comunale, Jr. Family Cancer Foundation.