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During her long career in rehabilitation, Sue Paul was convinced she and her fellow therapists were doing all they could for people with cancer. It wasn’t until she was diagnosed herself that she realized how much more was possible.

At the time of her breast cancer diagnosis, Sue served as rehabilitation director for the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (IPMR). Her treatment caused a number of weakness and balance issues, a common side effect of chemotherapy. “It opened my eyes to the fact that we could be doing more to treat cancer patients holistically. Therapists have a role to play in helping them get the rest of their lives back.”

That realization led Sue to launch a research project in 2015 focused on balance, funded by a Foundation grant. Still ongoing, the study explores where and why balance issues occur, as well as how and when to target treatment. “The Foundation is ahead of the curve in funding projects like this. They care about quality of life issues, and they’re willing to reach out and grab the expertise of others in our community.”

That’s why Sue, now a compliance officer for Comprehensive Prosthetics & Orthotics, continues to support the Foundation any way she can—as a volunteer, donor, advisory board member and event participant. “Knowledge is power, and we get that knowledge by supporting the Foundation.”

Sue Paul May 8, 2017

When he hit 237 pounds and found himself out of breath after climbing the stairs, Calvin Pettitt of Peoria decided it was time to take action. He bought some workout clothes and shoes, and then started walking regularly on the track next to Bradley University’s Shea Stadium. The weight started dropping fast—too fast. It was kidney cancer. “My grandfather and my mom both died of cancer. I thought it was a death sentence.”

With God, his extended family and the team at Illinois CancerCare by his side, Calvin proved it’s not. He had his kidney removed, joined a clinical trial and now feels good enough to start taking laps around the track once more. “I prayed a lot. I told God I just wanted to see my children and grandchildren progress a bit more before I leave this earth.”

Calvin Pettitt May 8, 2017

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