While cancer is personal, the cancer experience is not isolated.

The Biden Cancer Initiative launched the #cancerFIERCE campaign to tell the collective cancer narrative through the prism of a broad range of cancer experiences.

#cancerFIERCE is a message of strength, resilience, determination, purpose and hope. It celebrates the FIERCE that we know is in everyone touched by cancer – patients, families, caregivers, healthcare providers, researchers, and many more.

Share your #cancerFIERCE moment

Please send us your photo along with a brief narrative (75 words or less) describing a moment when you’ve turned your cancer fears into #cancerFIERCE or share with us what motivates you to stay #cancerFIERCE against so many odds.

Your Stories

Devon Still

"When she was diagnosed, it was like a storm hit my family..."

Former NFL defensive end, Devon Still, shares his family's #CancerFIERCE story.

Longo Family

"I'd go into the doctors, and they'd say "no, its walking pneumonia..."

Michael Longo and his family share their CancerFIERCE story.

Kate Yglesias Houghton

"When I was diagnosed, I had just bought my house six weeks before, I had changed jobs to take a promotion."

Kate Yglesias Houghton, of Critical Mass, shares her #CancerFIERCE story

Chase Jones: #CancerFIERCE

"I walked off the field one day, with a headache I couldn't explain to my teammates or coaches."

Chase Jones shares his #CancerFIERCE survivorship story.

Bryce Olson

“I am #CancerFIERCE. I didn’t used to be.”

Bryce Olson shares his cancer journey with the Biden Cancer Initiative.

The Wasko Family

“I wanted to share my husband’s story because I think it’s very encouraging to anybody who is fighting this beast! He was diagnosed with a walnut sized glioblastoma in November 2012 at the age of 33. His only symptom was a headache that wouldn’t go away. The week after we found out was quite a whirlwind, that included us getting married! He had surgery to remove over 99% of the tumor followed by 6 weeks of chemo and radiation then 18 months of chemo and did great!"

"Fast forward to January 2016 (I was 7 1/2 months pregnant with a baby doctors said we might never have because of my husband’s cancer treatments) and his doctor found a small recurrence at the original tumor site during a routine MRI. This was small enough to be treated with stereotactic radiosurgery and more chemo. We got less time between recurrences this around, December 2016( our son was 10 months old) they found another recurrence and this time it was treated with surgery and he was enrolled in The Toca 511 clinical trial. It didn’t come without complications but after all was said and done he’s doing amazing! He will be a 6 year survivor in November and leads a completely normal life! Works full time as a registered nurse, drives, helps care for our two year old son, etc.... I hope his story provides some hope and encouragement for everybody who is fighting!” (Jillian Wasko, PA)

Mike shares his story

"In 2013, I was given about three months to live. This year, 2018, I had the pleasure of riding my bicycle 546 miles from New York City to Niagara Falls as part of a fundraising effort for cancer research.”

Michael Paradowski of New York shares his #CancerFIERCE story. Ride on, Mike!

Sarah shares her story

“I know I am the exception. I am that small percentage of young people diagnosed with colon cancer before the recommended screening age."

I am that small percentage of metastatic patients who surpass 5 years of survival with active disease. I am that small voice that screams so loud about the rise of colorectal cancer in young people. And I am #cancerFIERCE.” – Sarah DeBord of Minneapolis, MN

Susan shares her story

“Killing cancers has not worked sufficiently. Stopping their ability to evolve might."

"My #cancerFierce? I founded and led the Cancer Evolvability Program in the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. We want to understand then stop the mechanisms that generate the variation that lets cancers evolve malignancy and therapy resistance.” - Susan Rosenberg, Houston, TX

Mike and Erin

“In 2003, my husband, Mike Miller was just 44 years old when he was diagnosed with stage IV pancreatic cancer. Because of a clinical trial, he was given more time. He was able to coach his daughter’s t-ball team, take his boys camping, and even go on a ski vacation."

"It was because of the clinical trial that our kids remember their dad. Through this journey we realized Mike wasn't alone. While we lost Mike, he left this world knowing that he was making a difference for all cancer patients through participating in a clinical trial. We founded Lazarex Cancer Foundation in Mike’s memory to give hope to others who are in need of the medicinal advances in clinical trials today, for a chance at tomorrow. This is how we as a family became #cancerFIERCE on behalf of Mike and all cancer patients.” (Erin Miller, CA)

Heidi shares her story

“I was 38 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I thought it couldn't happen to me."

My #cancerFIERCE moment was when my hobby, designing handbags, turned into a business in between surgeries. Then, I started volunteering. I helped others by being open about my diagnosis, and now, I’ve decided to go back to school to get my masters to become a therapist and help others like me. (Heidi Kelly, PA)

Karen shares her story

“For a while, I wasn't happy with the way I looked after my surgery, nor the pain and complications I still have to live with daily. One day, I decided to snap out of it. I thought about the individuals who are no longer among us... who am I to complain, I still have my life. The experiences I've had to endure are what inspired my poems. With each poem, I wish to make a positive impact on someone who's ill, hoping it gives them the strength to embrace their life in a whole new way. I'm a true example that you can survive cancer, not once, but twice. I'm not saying that it will be easy, but just have faith, fight with all you have, then hold on."

Karen Rice, a survivor of both breast and colon cancer shares with us what inspires her.

Rachel shares her story

"Often told I'm "too young for cancer." I was devastated when doctors confirmed my worst fears, and I was diagnosed with Stage IIB triple-negative breast cancer. I'm especially passionate about helping other young breast cancer survivors feel less alone. With a background in fashion, I was determined to keep my fashion sense. During treatment, I founded SurvivorModa and used my sewing skills to create The ParkPuff, a stylish chest-comforting, go-anywhere seatbelt pillow for breast cancer patients worldwide."

Rachel Park, a tie designer, a breast cancer survivor and awareness advocate shares her #cancerFIERCE.

Peggy shares her story

“I was diagnosed on Halloween 2016 with Stage IV colorectal cancer at age 36."

I experienced many of the common symptoms, but I was misdiagnosed by my doctor for over 8 months because I was told I was “too young” for colorectal cancer. My story is not unique, as colorectal cancer is on the rise in people under 50. There is no such thing as too young for cancer. Listen to your body and don’t be afraid to get multiple opinions until you get answers. Your life is worth it.” (Peggy Myrick, VA)

Krystle shares her story

"Having cancer is scary. You aren't a medical professional and sure haven't been through anything like this before."

You don't understand the terms or what each scan or surgery will mean to you and your family. Once you are a cancer patient, you are always a cancer fighter. I was diagnosed with a Gastrointestinal stromal tumor. I lost part of my stomach and almost died from complications from surgery. I now live with dumping syndrome and have to watch what I eat and how I eat it. I am a cancer survivor and thankful for every day on this beautiful earth. Cancer doesn't care about your age. I never thought it was possible for it to happen to me but at 27 I became a cancer survivor. I am very thankful for the wonderful medical professionals who cared for me. Without their knowledge and expertise my cancer would not have been found early on giving me a better chance at survival.” (Krystle Chick, MD)

Stache Strong

“One of the most unspoken pieces of cancer is those directly affected. While the rest of us are certainly healthy, life has changed and it's almost as though a piece of us is missing. I've always wondered how families keep it together and march on into darkness; that was, until it happened to us."

I can now tell you exactly HOW it happens. It's not easy. It'll never be easy. I wish I could tell you it was. But it only happens TOGETHER. My dad has been the captain of the boat; navigating us and never wavering. My mom has been the 5 star utility player doing anything and everything to make sure everyone is comfortable and happy at all times. My sister has been the breath of fresh air. My brother's tenacity and attitude in his fight against brain cancer is what ultimately keeps the 5 of us going. It takes each and every one of us, TOGETHER, to beat a foe like brain cancer. TOGETHER, we will beat it; mark my words. #StacheStrong” (Colin Gerner)

BMX and Brain Cancer

"After a 6-hr open cranial surgery to remove the first tumor when I was 21, Gamma Knife radiation to shrink the next 2 tumors when I was 23, and a ketogenic diet to halt the progression of the additional 2 tumors when I was 27, living with 4 brain tumors today as a professional BMX athlete has given me tremendous appreciation and perspective for living my life."

It has also shown me I am not alone in this fight and has given me a passion to share what I have learned to help others become healthy, happy, and successful. It starts with our mindset to foster a belief in success and it progresses by taking action with nutrition and exercise. I am grateful for this experience because it has shown me how strong I am, has led me to my passion for a ketogenic diet and exercise, and has allowed me to have an impact on the world with a global presence through my sport of BMX. I envision that impact growing even more as I get into motivational speaking as a goal to empower others to believe in themselves to become happy, healthy, and successful." (Josh Perry, North Carolina)

Getting through the Cancer Journey with comedy

“I am a wife-mom-comedian-cancer-survivor-straight-shooting-cracker-upper-of-audiences-and-encourager-of-women.

1 month after my no-symptom-45-year-old-surprise diagnosis of Stage 1 colon cancer, I started cracking butt jokes to raise awareness for the disease. Because butt jokes kill and unfortunately so does colon cancer.” (Heather Tolley-Bauer, GA)

Staying cancer-free

“After my wife Shannon underwent six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation therapy followed by an esophagectomy with colon interposition where her surgeon removed 10cm of esophagus above the tumor and 10cm of stomach below the tumor and replaced that with a section of her large intestine (part of the transverse and descending colon), we learned that it worked – there is no evidence of cancer cells! Now our biggest concerns are her nutrition, her energy and managing her pain, though that has mostly subsided compared to what it was a few weeks ago.”

Mike DiMascio of Austin, TX shares how his family continues to cope with the aftermath of cancer.

Jimmy ‘Taboo’ Gomez Shares His Cancer Story

"I've been through a lot of crazy experiences throughout my career, but nothing prepared me for this war against cancer..."

Jimmy "Taboo" Gomez of the Black Eyed Peas shares his cancer experiences and is on a mission to prevent others from going through what he went through.

Dr. Carol Brown’s Passion Is to Connect Patients to Innovation

"I'm really hopeful about our ability to put together these incredible technological advances...and apply that to making people aware."

Dr. Carol Brown of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center believes that more cancer patients need access to the latest and best advances.