Life Beyond Cancer

MSK patient David Asch

“I missed my freshman and sophomore year of high school, but MSK sent teachers and set me up with tutors, which allowed me to stay on track and graduate on time.” — David Asch, diagnosed with leukemia at 14, was one of the first people treated with a chemotherapy widely used today. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2019.

Ending cancer treatment is an exciting yet tricky transition for adolescents and young adults. But MSK keeps a close eye on these survivors as their physical, emotional, and social needs change over time. There are three survivorship clinics — each tailored to a specific age group — all guiding patients toward a healthy, happy future.

“We approach each case individually, taking into account where they are in their life,” says Danielle Novetsky Friedman, who runs survivorship programs for children and adults treated for pediatric cancer.

Having faced cancer at a young age, these patients learned how to be resilient. Here’s how they describe not only surviving but also thriving after receiving treatment at MSK.

MSK patient Martina Morris

“My goals are the same. I wanted to be a vet before surgery, and I’m still in school to become one.” — Martina Morris, diagnosed with a brain tumor at 18, is a student at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Tunav Nanda

“It’s so empowering to share your experience with other young survivors — to be there for each other and to pay it forward.” — Tunav Nanda, diagnosed with leukemia at 17, is now 25 and a graphic designer.

Payton Bogert

“It’s my desire to continue the work that my doctors have started.” — Payton Bogert (pictured with pediatric oncologist Paul Meyers) was treated for neuroblastoma as a toddler. Today, she hopes to be a physician at MSK.

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MSK News Fall 2021
Cancer is on the rise in adolescents and young adults. Through a groundbreaking new center, MSK is helping patients like Desiree Allen, diagnosed at 31. Read more about it in the fall issue of MSK News.