~Warriors Page~

One in a Million

Share your own one in a million story, words of wisdom or inspirations at:

OverComeACC @ gmail.com

and we'll send you a set of Shana's OverComeACC note-cards to help raise awareness.

Together we are stronger!


1 in a Million

The Max Rose Story


There is no 
Plan B
Rare Cancer Rare Doctor
Laura Munson

Following the Sun
Another one in a million

Draper Therapies
Another Personal Story

An Open Letter to Cancer Doctors Everywhere
From a Cancer Patient 

An Open Letter to Cancer Patients Everywhere
From a Cancer Doctor

I am One
in a
Cathy's friend Lisa has ACC.  
She began an experimental drug trial Monday 
October 25, 2010  The trial runs for 42 days. 
 Lisa and Cathy are telling her story day by day on Cathy's blog. 
Cathy Rubin
Shana's Story


Hi, I'm Shana
My perfect life was turned upside down in April of 2008.
I was a pediatrician working as a hospitalist in Anchorage, Alaska. I loved my work and my husband I were expecting our first child.
Six weeks after she was born, everything changed. I noticed my face became full, I developed a bad case of acne, had racing, crazy thoughts. I thought it was post partum depression or I was going crazy. A day later, I went to the ED because I became mute. I thought I was having a stroke. I was so scared. 
Eventually, symptoms subsided, and I was sent home, only to have them return the next day. Back we went. I knew something was horribly wrong. They looked and looked and found nothing. They eventually tried a CT of my lungs
to look for a blood clot and happened to see the top of the 10.5cm tumor on my left adrenal gland.
When they told me, I cried. I was so grateful they had found what was wrong with me. I wasn't crazy. Little did I know, this was still just the beginning.
You're told in medical school that rare is bad.
So how bad is ultra rare?
Well, I could figure that one out. It terrified me.

My family and I quickly moved back home to Michigan so I could get treatment. I started with mitotane as a stage 3, but very quickly progressed to a stage 4. I have been on the Italian Protocol, tried a couple of clinical trials, and numerous other chemo regimens.  I am currently starting my 8th different treatment.

So cancer sucks, yes. But I am so glad I am here. I am so glad I am able to see my daughter grow up and spend quality time with her. I often wonder for how long, though?  I know I'm one of the few stage 4 to be doing so
well. I can ride my bike and cook dinner. Most of all, I want to be here long enough for Mia to remember me.

I am running out of treatment options. We need research to find a cure. We need new medicines so we can watch our children grow up, eat ice cream, go to baseball games, watch sunsets, smell cookies and enjoy fireflies. 
Please give to ACC Research.
       Christa's Story 
know one thing, this cancer can not take away my hope,
   my faith, my spirit and my soul and you shouldn't let it either.

Hi,  My name is Christa
I was diagnosed with Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma
in August 2008.
My story starts similar to others, a pain in my side that I didn't let go too long, a couple of months, but what I didn't address was the sleepless nights, endless appetite with no weight gain, facial hair, thank goodness I'm a natural blonde, haha. 
After a few Dr. visits and a CT scan I heard the dreaded words, you have a tumor.  I remember saying to this doctor I had never met before,
" Do you mean CANCER?"  and he said yes and that it was nothing he could deal with and I would have to go to NYC  to have a closer look.
Fortunately, I have amazing friends with amazing contacts who are unstoppable! One girlfriend knew of a surgeon at NY Presbyterian that happens to have gone to high school with her brother that just "happens to be the clinical director of Urological Oncology"
 (At first they thought it was kidney cancer) 
He was in surgery when she called him
( I still don't know how 30 years out of HS she got his cell) She wouldn't take no for an answer so she told him about me while he was in surgery and I was seen 4 days later.  He was amazing and the long story short, he took out a 14 cm tumor along with my adrenal gland, kidney, and a few other body parts.  It took a while to decipher between kidney and adrenal cancer, but when they said ACC,
 I really didn't know how bad that was.
After that surgery another girlfriend went on the "dreaded internet" for 36 hours straight, and found that there were not many doctors that dealt with this and she told me either the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, MD or University of Michigan.  Being more familiar with MD, I went with that and had an appt. with Dr. Tito Fojo  soon after, and all I can say is Thank God for him! 
He was a Godsend. Honest, knowledgeable, sweet, loving, kind, I could go on and on.  He put me in the Italian protocol even though I didn't at first qualify for the study, and he said that no matter what, he would always treat me.  I fell into his arms like a 44 year old baby and sobbed and he patiently took care of me, my husband, and children   (at the time, my daughter just going away to college and my son a junior in high school).  I am stage 4, it has spread to many places, I had 8 months of horrible chemotherapy, many surgeries at NIH, many different procedures, and two rounds of radiation.  I have wonderful doctors who have agreed to take care of me or actually "be the hands of Dr. Fojo" here in Westchester county, New York where I live. I have scans down at NIH every three months and the last two have been NED ( no evidence of disease). 
I am not in denial about how bad this is but I also am optimistic because I have made many milestones I never thought possible.  I saw my son graduate high school, had my 20th wedding anniversary ( in chemotherapy), saw my Dad before he passed away, saw my daughter graduate college, and I plan on being around for a lot more. 
I have met a few ACC warriors and it has made this journey more tolerable and I don't feel so alone. 
A lot comes with this disease as with many other cancers, but when one is so rare, you really find out how little there is for support. So God, family, friends, doctors, warriors, and generous people have become very, very important to me.  I know one thing, this cancer can not take away my hope, faith, my spirit and soul and you shouldn't let it either.
I also want to say that I have had the immense please of meeting Dr. Hammer and he is also instrumental in the research to finding treatment and a cure to ACC.  
So may have given to his research and I am so thankful for that. Even my daughter raised quite a bit for him at college at an event she held. She was able to raise $1,000.00  which is pretty amazing for broke college students. 
They wore t-shirts with my picture on them and I was honored to say the least.
Thanks to my family who has loved me and never let me be alone, for my friends that make sure we eat when I am sick, check in on me regularly, for all the doctors who don't give up,  for the people who don't forget, even though years have passed (thankfully), for God who has given me strength and peace throughout this ordeal,
and for this website that has given me an outlet.
Another ACC warrior,
Christa Labriola


Spencer Bells Story

There is no Plan B
We need a cure now

Jimmy Valvano

Don't give up, don't ever give up

Jimmy Valvano's 1993 ESPY Speech. "Don't give up, don't ever give up."

The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $70 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all new direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. The Foundation, which has received five consecutive top 4-star ratings from Charity Navigator, awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Review Committee. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.


Randy Pausch

                     Speech of a Lifetime
Kris Carr

Crazy Sexy Life.com
   ~     ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"A Hart's Desire"
Diana's Story regarding her little brother, "Bubba"

Derrick (Bubba) and his son DJ

In 2002 my mother Fran Hart was diagnosed with breast

cancer. That began my mission to be a part of finding the

cure. I started as a volunteer with the American Cancer

Society in Connecticut. Our two University of Connecticut

basketball coaches Jim Calhoun and Geno Auriemma were

teaming up to fight cancer. Geno had lost his father and Jim

had battled cancer personally. After 3 years, we decided to

team up with the V Foundation. I loved this idea as 100%

of the proceeds go to cancer research. In my 8 years of

fund raising with the most amazing women, we have raised

over $3.5 million dollars….oh did I mention there are only

8 of us? But the big story started May 2010.

My only brother Derrick who was 47 had stomach pains

and ended up in the hospital. You know where the story is

going....they found a mass.  A 6.7 cm tumor on his adrenal

gland. Derrick played it down a bit, in fact a lot because

we ended up at the Smilow Cancer Center, August 3rd,

2010. I had no idea what I was about to hear.

A fantastic surgeon by the name of Dr. Udelsman removed

his tumor and informed Derricks wife Cindi and me that

with 90% certainty it was....wah wah wah wah wah wah

remember on the Peanuts cartoon when the teacher was

speaking? That's what I heard....well that blur turned into

Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma. The doctor said "Derrick, this

cancer is REALLY rare....do me a favor and don't go on

the internet , it will scare you!" Derrick was diagnosed with

stage 2 ACC, negative margins......O.K....it hadn't spread?

That's good.....right? This can be cured.......right........?

Wait, don't go on the internet? Forget that....and it started,

day and night, night and day on the internet trying to

learn. (I never really was a rule follower)

So with that, I found what made sense for us was what Dr.

Gary Hammer was doing at the University of Michigan's

Adrenal Cancer Program. There are some amazing

specialist out there doing great things for ACC, but the

research that is taking place at U of M and Dr. Hammer

himself was so receptive and dare I say neighborly? It felt

like he was almost willing to do an old fashioned house call

all the way to CT. Instead he set up a conference call with

my brother and myself and we talked. He gave us a

moment of not feeling completely out of control. That day

I made a decision and I think I even called Dr. Hammer

back that very same day and and I said, "You know what?

I have been working with The Jimmy V Foundation

http://www.jimmyv.org/  for Cancer Research for awhile

and I am going to raise money for your research."

And that is where we are now!

Diana Hart


~Michelle's Story~
~Michelle at a 2009 Relay for Life Event~

In the month of October of 2007 I was diagnosed with Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma.  

All told, my parents took me to Cleveland Clinic, Sloan Kettering Hospital, Roswell Cancer Hospital and University of Michigan Hospital. All we wanted to know was what to do next. Turns out the next step was to have surgery to take my tumor and adrenal gland out.  After surgery the doctors told me I would be fine and that all my symptoms would go away.  Well, after my surgery I still wasn’t feeling 100% and little did I know, I had a blood clot in my lung from the surgery. For 6 months I was on blood thinners and Chemo. During those 6 months I didn’t understand why all of these negative things had happened to me. I was always a healthy child, never smoked and never drank. I kept asking my parents and my doctors what it was that I did wrong for this to have happened to me. My parents and doctors kept telling me that it was just bad luck. Throughout this three and a half year nightmare, I grew up and became a much more positive woman, and I told everyone that I was going to kick this Adrenal Cancer’s butt! To keep my story short, I was diagnosed with Adrenal Cancer when I was 20 years old and I am now 23 years old! I have been on Chemo since November of 2007 and in December of 2010 I have been told I could stop my chemo because I AM NOW CANCER FREE!

Help raise awareness and promote funding for this ultra rare cancer with the OverComeACC bracelets.

100% of proceeds go directly to Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma Research!

Here is my information: suditmvs @ gmail.com  if you would like to buy a bunch of ACC                     Bracelets or you can look up my facebook group called ACC!

                                                           Michelle Sudit

~The OverComeACC Story~
Be the change you want to see in the world

The OverComeACC website name was inspired by Michelle! 
It all started during a 2009 "Vital Options" podcast regarding adrenal cancer.  Adrenal Cancer patients were welcomed to call in to ask questions of the ACC Specialist and Michelle happened to call in.
 She mentioned the OverComeACC bracelets she had designed and was selling with all of the proceeds going to fund adrenal cancer research. I was so impressed with this young college student and newly diagnosed ACC warrior and how pro active she was being and what a contribution she was making for ACC patients everywhere!
She was an inspiration to me and my family.  
I had been researching ACC via the internet since my husbands diagnosis in the summer of 2008. As the story so often goes, one minute he was fine and the next he wasn't.
 With some diligent internet research and the assistance of local physicians and the fortuitous meeting of a local, fellow ACC patient diagnosed just three months prior, (Shana) we were able to locate a specialized institution out of state, a Center of Excellence experienced in Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma and with Shana's assistance and her 3 months additional knowledge in this unknown realm, we were able to navigate the ACC world and search out what limited resources there were available at that time. Fortunately, through patient advocacy that is changing daily for the better.
There really wasn't much information on the internet back then regarding ACC so I was very enthusiastic to come across the podcast of "The Group Room"

I was able to contact Michelle through them and learned her story and the efforts she had begun as a way of contributing to the future for other ACC patients and her desire to make a difference for others. Inspired, I bought bracelets for my entire family and set off wondering what I could do to honor her and give thanks to my new ACC friends and try to make a difference as well. That was almost three years ago and many phone calls later here we are and Michelle is still an inspiration to me and those that know her! Michelle and Shana's spirit and drive to be proactive, to stand up and try to make a difference in the lives of others has been contagious to myself, my children and my family. We have all joined together along with others equally inspired to raise awareness and promote funding for ACC Research.
Send for your free OverComeACC wristband today and help raise awareness for ultra rare cancer and the need for funding research.
Thank you.

To quote Shana,
Anna and the OverComeACC Family
Do you have some words of wisdom or your own story to share?
Send it to us @
OverComeACC @ gmail.com
and we'll send you a set of Shana's OverComeACC note cards or one of Michelle's OverComeACC Bracelets.