Newlyweds Show Us How to Face Cancer Together

September 16, 2014
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Jessica and Esteban Izquierdo

Jessica and Esteban Izquierdo talking about their cancer journey

Jessica and Esteban Izquierdo

Jessica and Esteban Izquierdo talking about their cancer journey

The other day, Patient Power producer Tamara Lobban-Jones gave us a terrific video love story. It’s the story of newlyweds Jessica and Esteban Izquierdo and how Jessica was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma just weeks before their wedding. Jessica and Esteban had been sweethearts for years, and this was a blow they never expected. But the power of love is a very strong anti-cancer medicine. Not always strong enough but always to the good. And so it was with Jessica and Esteban, formerly of Ecuador and now living in the U.S. As the video story explains, they faced the shock of cancer directly. They sought the care of a top specialist, began treatment promptly, and began to put their lives back together—living with cancer in remission. And they, of course, had their wedding with the support of a huge crowd of family and friends.

Admittedly, not every relationship can withstand a cancer diagnosis. And certainly among young couples looking forward to a long life together, this can be devastating. But I am happy to tell you Jessica and Esteban say they are stronger because of it, and I have seen that in my own life with Esther, too. If we face cancer together with the ones we love and who love us and if we communicate openly and get the additional support we need, we have the best chance of not letting the cancer define us or beat us.

Esther Schorr

Esther Schorr sharing advice for caregivers

Recently, we produced a town meeting for CLL patients and caregivers in Seattle, and Esther was a panelist. She spoke openly about how she coped, as a spouse, with my diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and how she has continued to support me as the patient. Please watch her story, too.

We are very devoted to telling the stories of real people facing cancer, together with people who care, their “support team.” We will do much more of this in the months at events, online and even on your smartphone. Stay tuned. In the meantime, let the message of our newlyweds, Jessica and Esteban, sink in. They express how they have pushed cancer into the deep background of a full life and how we might do that, too. It’s great advice.

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