Bonnie Newman was 19 years old when she was diagnosed with cancer for the first time. A semester in school was delayed for treatment, but she eventually graduated from college and spent the following summer on a backpacking adventure through Europe with her twin sister.
The second time she was diagnosed, Bonnie was a new hire at a large Wall Street firm and the youngest woman accepted into their Broker/Financial Advisors training program. Only 6 weeks into her new position, she found out her cancer had returned and spread. After surgery, chemotherapy, and a long recovery, she returned to work full-time, eventually becoming a First Vice President of Investments.
The third occurrence with cancer, Bonnie thought that the original cancer had recurred but learned that she had actually had osteogenic sarcoma. Over the next few years she would spend her longest and hardest challenge, enduring dozens of surgeries, cardiac arrest, and eventually the loss of her leg.
By the fourth time she was diagnosed, she was working in finance and had been accepted into Law School. This time the osteogenic sarcoma metastasized to her liver. She recalls, with a big smile, that her surgeon, Dr. John Healey, told her she was actually lucky because the liver can regenerate itself. She underwent a partial resection and returned to finish law school. She has been cancer free for over 23 years, but continues to endure physical challenges, additional surgeries and countless years of chronic pain resulting from the cancers and radiation therapy.
She is very grateful and thankful to be alive today but also acknowledges that while luck is a big part of survival, so is being loved and cared for by her close family, her mom who oversaw each recovery, her dad for making her laugh, her two sisters for their knowledge of medicine, and her adoring husband; and being surrounded by an amazing medical community that values innovation and demands success. Bonnie is honored to receive a Courage Award from her Surgeon and friend, Dr. John Healey. She has learned that even your most profound losses are survivable and, while cancer has always managed to find her, she has proven that it doesn’t matter when you have a life to be lived.