Sherri Van Dorn has always been driven to help others. But her experience beating cancer at City of Hope has made her even more philosophical about life’s difficulties.
|Sherri Van Dorn’s battle with lymphoma inspired her to do even more to help others.|
“If I’m having a challenging day,” she says, “at least I’m alive to have that day.”
Sherri’s survival could not always be taken for granted. Although she had displayed no significant symptoms, in January 2007, the Indio police department employee was diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, a rare and aggressive blood and immune system cancer.
Almost immediately, Sherri began chemotherapy, and prepared to receive a hematopoietic cell transplant at City of Hope. She also participated in clinical trials for an advanced treatment called radioimmunotherapy.
“The entire year was basically devoted to kicking cancer’s butt,” she recalls.
Sherri credits her faith, her family and City of Hope’s patient-focused care with helping her survive the ordeal. Engaged shortly before her diagnosis, Sherri and her fiancé accelerated their schedule so they could be married before her transplant.
Today, Sherri is free of cancer and more active than ever. She and her family have organized a blood drive for local hospitals. She also acts as an advocate for lymphoma patients and speaks to community groups.
“I try to keep my eyes and ears open, and not miss an opportunity to give back,” she says. “That’s the one gift I would want to give everyone: to think positively and to be thankful for each and every day.”