Health Care

Pam Sain | Daughter, Caregiver, Cancer Fighter

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Pam Sain’s resilience and advocacy for cancer awareness and prevention began with her family’s own journey with cancer. Their journey began in 2009, when Pam’s father was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. At that time, there was very little known about how to treat cancer in the esophagus. After a full esophagectomy, her father was hospitalized where he remained until he passed. “I was with him until the end,” shared Pam as she reflected on her father’s end of life experience.

After his passing, Pam was moved to educate herself and bring awareness to others about how devastating a cancer battle can be, but how there is hope in prevention and research. Pam and her husband Gary Sain, former President of Visit Orlando, hosted 75 leaders in the community at Point Orlando and gathered physician guest speakers, the latest research, and resources to encourage others to prioritize their health.

Pam was so committed to bringing awareness, she modeled whole person care by getting her own endoscopy and colonoscopy filmed to teach others about what signs and symptoms to look for. Her greatest contribution was bringing awareness to the NinePoint scanner, otherwise known as the NvisionVLE Imaging System, which examines the human tissue microstructure and detects early signs of cancer.

Amidst her advocacy efforts, her mother was diagnosed with oral cancer in 2016, which further underscored the relentless nature of the disease. Despite treatment efforts through surgery and radiation, her mother's condition worsened so she made the brave choice to receive palliative care. Pam’s mother passed just three weeks later.

If only the impact of cancer in Pam’s life would end there. Other members in Pam’s family would later be diagnosed, including her brother-in-law who passed away from brain cancer and her daughter who is a thyroid cancer survivor.

Amidst her family’s cancer journey, Pam faced her own health challenges. After getting surgery in her gallbladder and bile ducts, Pam’s calcium levels continued to rise to alarming levels. An ultrasound led to an abnormal parathyroid diagnosis, so Pam underwent surgery to remove half her thyroid and have it biopsied. While at her follow up appointment, Dr. Magnuson reported that he discovered early signs of cancer in her thyroid, but they were fortunate that her cancer was caught early enough to not need further treatment. Two years later, and she remains cancer free.

a photo of Pam Sain's father, John, holding a dog
Pam's father, John.

Through Pam's journey, we learn that cancer can impact entire families. “There are certain things you do find that do run in families. If there is something in your family, get screened whether you have the issue or not. You never know when this thing can occur. My dad was 76, mom 84, I was 64, my daughter 32. There’s no rhyme or reason.” Pam emphasizes the importance of vigilance, urging individuals to prioritize screenings and heed their bodies' warning signs.

As Pam continues her advocacy work, she remains committed to bringing awareness and providing support to those affected by cancer by serving on AdventHealth Foundation Central Florida’s Cancer Board. “Hope give us the strength to keep fighting and conquer the impossible,” shared Pam. Her journey serves as a reminder that while cancer may be formidable, it is not insurmountable. With perseverance, solidarity, and proactive whole person care, Pam and her family stand as living testaments to the power of resilience in the face of adversity.

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