Pancreatic Cancer Survivor Empowers Others by Giving Back

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“It’s not hopeless – take one day at a time and live it to the fullest.”
– Joe Balfour, 15-year pancreatic cancer survivor

This past summer at a preseason New Orleans Saints home game on August 15, Ochsner Health System and the Saints recognized pancreatic cancer survivor patient Joe Balfour during the Ochsner Hero Presentation. This special presentation features an Ochsner physician and patient who together have overcome difficult health obstacles.

Joe’s story began back in 1999, when during a routine check-up, Ochsner physicians detected abnormal test results and quickly diagnosed him with pancreatic cancer. Under the care of Dr. John Bolton (shown in photo above standing to Joe Balfour's right), surgical oncologist at Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans, Joe underwent surgery.

Joe has now been cancer-free for fifteen years, and enjoys spending time working with pancreatic cancer survivors' support groups as his way of “giving back something to those who helped me.” Ochsner commended Joe for his positive attitude, willingness to help other patients get through difficult situations and relentless determination to take his situation one day at a time.

During the presentation, the crowd stood up in honor of Joe, honoring him with a warm round of applause for his bravery and perseverance in overcoming unimaginable obstacles.

To listen to Joe tell about his story of survival in his own words, watch this special “I Believe in Miracles” video.

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