When Dakota Neal was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called leiomyosarcoma in 2005, it changed her life. Not because her doctors concluded that they would have to amputate her leg, which had developed a tumor that ran from the bottom of her knee down to her ankle, and not because the disease lingered in her system despite undergoing extensive rounds of cutting-edge treatment. Dakota Neal was changed by cancer because it strengthened who she was as a person and gave her the conviction to fight back against the disease that threatened to take her life.
In Miracle Survivors: Beating the Odds of Incurable Cancer, a collection of interviews by Tami Boehmer, Dakota Neal describes her transformation throughout the process of fighting leiomyosarcoma: “I didn’t think my diagnosis was a death sentence. I didn’t want my kids to get stressed. I thought if I stayed positive, my kids would see that and wouldn’t stress about it.”
Fortunately for Dakota, she was referred to Dr. Sant Chawla of the Cancer Center of Southern California who shared her same fortitude and determination. Where other oncologists thought there was nothing more they could do for her, Dr. Chawla knew there was a solution. In just a matter of years, research and clinical trials, many of which had been led by Dr. Chawla, yielded new life-saving medicines that could give Dakota the chance at life she deserved. With Dr. Chawla and the team at the Cancer Center, Dakota underwent an aggressive treatment plan that eventually eradicated the disease from her body, even when it made a recurrence in her spine.
Dakota Neal successfully survived an otherwise incurable cancer with an optimistic determination and a team of compassionate, unrelenting specialists. To read about Dakota’s battle with leiomyosarcoma, check out Miracle Survivors: Beating the Odds of Incurable Cancer.
Contact the Cancer Center of Southern California
The Cancer Center of Southern California specialists are dedicated to their patients’ physical and emotional health. By creating a positive, supportive environment, even patients with the rarest form of cancer have the encouragement and faith to keep fighting, which is one of the most crucial aspects of beating a supposedly incurable disease. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer or you are seeking a second opinion about treatment, please do not hesitate to contact us at (310) 879-1099. We will schedule a private consultation to discuss your specific situation and how we can help. Learn more about patients’ stories at the Cancer Center.
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