Janine Stanwood was at her job as a WPLG/Channel 10 news reporter when she got the call that she had a large early-stage breast tumor that required surgical removal. “As a woman, your breasts don’t define you, but whenever you’re told a part of your body has to be removed, it’s shocking.”
She went to her initial visit with surgeon Dr. Susan Kesmodel at Sylvester, and Janine and her husband were heartened by the doctor’s focus and care—even though it was the last appointment of the day.
“She made me feel relieved that I had science on my side,” Janine said. “She drew pictures of what cancer cells look like inside my breast and explained new surgical techniques. I loved how determined she was to get me the best care, and it provided a great sense of relief to me and my husband.”
After her breast cancer surgery, Janine decided to share her experience with her TV audience. During a broadcast, two viewers noticed a lump in her throat from a tumor of the thyroid gland. Janine turned to Dr. David Arnold, a Sylvester head and neck cancer specialist, who treated her thyroid cancer with surgery and radioactive iodine in 2020.
As she was recovering, Janine went to the DCC as an observer and was inspired by the event. She did her first 5K run in 2021 with her husband, reflecting on the support system that had gotten her through two bouts with cancer.
“I thought about my dad, who died from a rare form of blood cancer. I thought of my mom, who beat breast cancer twice. I thought about my husband, my friends, how good I felt and how I’m doing, and how grateful I was for that,” Janine said. “All of those emotions rushed over me at that finish line. Being a part of something bigger than me is something I’ll never forget, and I don’t want that feeling to go away.”
David J. Arnold, M.D., FACS
Head and Neck Surgeon, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Chief of Surgery at Lennar Foundation Medical Center
For David J. Arnold, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine and a specialist in ear, nose and throat (ENT) cancer surgery, the DCC has a powerful impact that goes beyond funding Sylvester’s leading-edge research. “What is unique about the DCC is the way it brings everything together – the patients, clinicians, researchers and overall team,” he said. “By supporting the DCC, you can provide vital funding for research, while being part of something important for your community and those working hard to make things better for patients and families with cancer.”
A clinician and researcher who focuses on tumor markers, microvascular surgical technics and other advance in treating thyroid cancer, Dr. Arnold plays an important role in Sylvester’s multidisciplinary approach to cancer care. “We take a team approach, where specialists in different fields discuss the best clinical care for that individual patient,” he said. “Because many professionals at the conference are actively working on cancer research, they can offer out-of-the-box ideas and insights on clinical care. At the DCC – and throughout the year – Sylvester patients, clinicians and researchers come together in one place as a team.”Share this story