Patient Stories

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Patricia Nichols

Patricia Nichols is a survivor of chromophobe renal cell carcinoma. As a young single mother, she struggled with access to care and the fear and anxiety that go along with a cancer diagnosis. Today, because she found an exceptional care team, she's free of cancer. This is her story.

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Robin Martinez

Robin Martinez is the coordinator of communities at and has been counseling kidney cancer patients for over twenty years. Prior to launching SmartPatients, she was co-listowner for the Kidney-One mailing list. This is her story.

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Anonymous

The story below was written by a kidney cancer patient who asked to remain anonymous. Many patients struggle daily with the issue of when it's safe to reveal their diagnosis. They have valid concerns about how cancer will impact their relationships, their employment status, their financial security.  Not being able to share their story with others makes the journey even harder. It's one of the reasons that we encourage all patients to find a patient community to be a part of. You are not alone. This is the voice of kidney cancer.

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Mallory Douge

Mallory Douge was diagnosed with papillary renal cell carcinoma (pRCC) at the age of 25.  Today, in addition to being a kidney cancer survivor, she's also a tireless advocate for young adults diagnosed with RCC.  This is her story.

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Andrew Zapanta

Andrew Zapanta is a kidney cancer survivor who was diagnosed just twelve days after his wedding. Read his story about how staying healthy, family and friends and his strong faith have helped him survive. 

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Camille Butler

Camille Butler tells the heartbreaking story of losing her daughter Journey to Renal Medullary Carcinoma (RMC). This is her story.

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Jack Vitale

Jack Vitale is a stage 4 kidney cancer survivor. He shares how he's managed his diagnosis, treatments and side-effects and how he lives every day with kidney cancer. This is his story.

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Bryan Lewis

Bryan Lewis was diagnosed with kidney cancer when he was just 46 years old. At the time he was the new father of one-year old twins and had recently been promoted at a leading national trade association. He is married to a wonderful and smart woman, and lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Today, he is the voice of kidney cancer on Capitol Hill leading the Kidney Cancer Action Network. He also serves as a member of the KCCure Patient Advisory Board. This is his story.

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Kimberly Brown

Kimberly Brown faced a kidney cancer diagnosis right after the birth of her third child. Read her inspiring story about how she is surviving and managing the anxiety of living with kidney cancer.

HLRCC – Papillary Kidney Cancer

Laura Esfeller was diagnosed with stage 4 type 2 papillary kidney cancer when she was only 29 years old. She would later learn that she also has a rare genetic condition called Hereditary Leiomyomatosis and Renal Cell Cancer (HLRCC), also known as Reed’s Syndrome. This is her story.

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Jennifer Lehman

Jennifer Lehman is a mother of four and a kidney cancer survivor. Read her story about how things went wrong when she was initially diagnosed with kidney cancer, but how she's free of cancer today!

Voice of Kidney Cancer – Irfan Dasti

When Irfan was diagnosed with stage 4 kidney cancer, doctors left him with little hope. But he perservered and sought out treatment with high dose IL-2. Eight years later, he's still free of disease. Read his amazing story of kidney cancer survivorship.

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