Kris Fuentes has always pushed himself. He is the kind of kid who likes to lose himself in the details of an architectural design project. He is a natural athlete and scholar, staying up late but not sleeping in.
|By the time Kris Fuentes (above right, standing with his family) had a lump checked out, it was almost too late. Thankfully the doctors at City of Hope were able to save his life. |
The 24-year-old grad student is an achiever.
And it almost killed him.
“I discovered a lump on my shoulder last January,” says Kris. “I chalked it up to a muscle knot -- I used to get them when I played football in high school.”
Kris was a full-time student with a job. He didn’t have time to be bothered by a muscle knot. “When you’re stressed you can forget to take care of yourself,” he says. “You let things slide.”
But Kris’ “knot” was not like the others. It did not go away, and the more he talked to his friends about it, the more concerned he became.
Then Kris found a second lump -- this time on his scrotum. Doctors performed a biopsy and told Kris he had stage 3 testicular cancer. “I felt so alone,” he says. “I had all the support of my family and friends, but I still felt like I was alone.”
After his diagnosis Kris had to figure out where to get treatment. “I bounced around a few hospitals at first,” he says. “But nothing felt right. I didn’t feel comfortable.”
|Kris, a natural althelete and scholar, is now a lucky cancer survivor.|
Then Kris’ godfather pointed him to City of Hope.
Our team of doctors spent time listening to him, talking to him, and explaining how the treatment would go. “I was struck by their dedication,” he says. “To me it was all about personalized care.”
Kris underwent surgery and several rounds of chemotherapy at City of Hope. After weeks of treatment, Kris emerged cancer-free. The experience, he says, was eye-opening.
“My doctor treated me like an individual,” says Kris. “He got to know me. He gave me as much information as he knew I could handle.”
Today Kris is using his experience to help others like him. And he admits he has been surprised by their reactions. “Other cancer patients are relieved to hear that I know where they are coming from,” he says.
“Those experiences are a part of me now, and they always will be.”
It is thanks to the loyal support of friends like you that cancer patients like Kris can come to City of Hope and get a second chance at life. Thank you for your generosity and compassion. You make our lifesaving research and patient care possible.