Skip to content
While every chronic disease patient’s journey is unique, an individual’s story of perseverance can empower those facing similar hurdles. Recent media stories showcase how optimism, a good attitude and perseverance have served a woman battling Parkinson’s in Iowa, an Illinois professor facing cancer and a father and son duo fighting a rare kidney disease. Read more about their strength in three media spotlights. 1. Victoria Miller fearlessly faces Parkinson’s 64-year-old Victoria Miller from Sioux City, Iowa, has been battling Parkinson’s for 16 years. Since her diagnosis, Miller’s fight has been all about attitude. “There’s no way to stop this disease,” Miller told KITV, “but there’s a lot of things we can do to treat it, and one of the things we can do to treat it is having a good attitude and optimism. Miller recently joined patients and caretakers at a conference to learn effective tools for managing Parkinson’s. Her spunky spirit and positive attitude was apparent as she shared her story and efforts to create a community of support. Read more about Miller’s story here. 2. Eric Martinson’s support system fuels his strength Eric Martinson wasn’t expecting to receive a cancer diagnosis when visiting his doctor for a routine appointment. Despite this unexpected news, Martinson attacked this challenge with positivity at home and at the College of DuPage where he works as a professor, finding an incredible support system in fellow faculty and students. “It was incredible, the support I got from students right off the bat,” Martinson told The Courier. “They were calling and texting, and I got hundreds of emails. It meant the world to me.” While Martinson acknowledges the emotional, physical and financial challenges that cancer brings, he remains upbeat and plans to return to teaching this summer. Read more about his story here. 3. Father and son’s fight against focal segmental glomerulosclerosis In New York, a father and son duo are tackling the reality of chronic disease together. 20-year-old James Cancro Jr. and his father, James Cancro Sr. battle focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) – a rare disease that attacks filtering units within the kidney – that often leads to kidney damage or failure. The disease has caused 26-year veteran of the Fairview Fire Department Cancro Sr. to retire early and forced Cancro Jr. to withdraw from his studies in hopes of securing a transplant. He needs a kidney transplant to avoid dialysis, but it’s very close in his future,” mother Lisa Cranco said in an article. “I tell him, ‘Your life isn’t over. You can take a class or two locally, and someone will step up (with a kidney transplant).” Read more about the Cancro family story here. At the Chronic Disease Coalition, we have seen firsthand how a strong support system and positive attitude can benefit patients. Share your story and the ways in which you tackle your chronic disease.