Personal Stories

Ms. Laura Krumwiede, cancer survivor

My story begins my senior year at Purdue. Everything was going well; I was on schedule to graduate in December. Around Halloween I got what I thought was a cold. Just your normal symptoms, a cough coupled with aches and a low-grade fever. But I couldn’t shake it. Days became weeks and I still felt bad. “It’s the stress,” I told myself. I figured all the late hours studying and heavy course load were finally catching up with me. Thanksgiving was nearing and I was hoping the time off would help.

Over Thanksgiving break I decided to see my doctor, just in case. He thought I had bronchitis. We took a chest X-ray. By sheer luck, the X-ray was positioned low enough that my kidneys were seen. And there, on one of my kidneys was something that wasn’t supposed to be there. Further tests were ordered and it was confirmed to be cancer.

Two days after Christmas I had my kidney removed and I’ve been cancer-free since, though I’m still worried it will resurface somewhere else in my body.

I know I was very lucky. My cancer was found very early and treated by traditional surgery. But everyone isn’t as lucky. We need to find ways to detect everyone’s cancer early, treat it more effectively and ultimately cure it. It’s only through the work of basic research centers, like the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, that we’ll be able to eliminate cancer from our lives.