The Kidney Cancer Program is proud to present tributes to kidney cancer patients and their families. Whether it is to celebrate a survivor, a good scan, acceptance into a trial, or to remember a loved one, we are honored to include their tributes here.
If you would like to share a memory of your loved one on our page, please send an email@example.com to Renee McKay, Ph.D.
Wayne Woods (1937-2015) was diagnosed with Stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma in September 2007. He was married to our dear mother, and love of his life, Palma, for 56 years, whom he lost six months prior to his passing. Wayne was the father of five, grandfather of 12 and great-grandfather of three. There was nothing he enjoyed more than being in his home cooking for friends and family. He loved life and adored his family above all else. Wayne was humble, kind, considerate, thoughtful, and always wanted to know how “YOU” were doing. He taught us to be optimistic and confident. He taught us to enjoy and appreciate the small moments in life, and never allowed the things he could not control ruin his day. He led by example.
Wayno, we miss you every day.
Whitney Aurora Wheeler
Whitney was diagnosed with stage 4 renal cell carcinoma in July 2014. She was very brave and fought very hard but passed away on June 11, 2015, at the age of 29. This was not Whitney’s first battle with cancer. As a 2-year-old, she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and, against all odds and by the grace of God, overcame it and grew up to be a beautiful, sweet, and kind spirit, as well as a most loyal friend.
Whitney never let cancer define her. In fact, most of the world would not know what a miracle she was. She was always her own person and known for her signature look: 5-inch heels, big sunglasses, and a friendly smile. She was devoted to her family and chose her friends carefully. She loved horses, her Dalmatian pups, Starbucks, and driving her Jeep. She was a proud Aggie and a most responsible and reliable work colleague. She was smart and insightful. And she never knew how many lives she touched.
Whitney will forever be in the hearts of her loving parents, Larry and Anita, her aunts, uncles, cousins, and the numerous friends whose lives were made better by having known her.
I lost the love of my life on May 2, 2015, when Debra (Debbi) Lynn Wells decided on her terms to leave this world for eternal life. She had an imitable spirit and strong love of family. We met on our first day of college and were inseparable to her last breath with me at her side. We did everything together and were rarely alone because we loved each other’s company. We embarked on new adventures together, changing careers, relocating across the country – always together. The doctors were all amazed that she had spent a week in Mexico on business with me in March when she was so ill in late April. While we didn’t always agree, we were true partners in life, in every sense of the words. She was a strong woman with the ability to get the best from others, all while maintaining a smile on their faces.
Her chosen professional career was accounting, at which she excelled. Her last position was Corporate Comptroller of Booz, Allen & Hamilton, a consulting firm. She left for the much more important work of raising a family with four children. Debbi was a model to her children who adored her for her candor and love. There was nothing that her children did that did not interest her. All of our children are successful, contributing members of their communities because of her.
She was convinced from the first day of her diagnosis in December 2010 with Stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma that she would beat the disease. She never let her illness direct her activity or define her and she made many remarkable accomplishments during her treatments. She savored every moment with her family and lived for the holidays. Christmas was Debbi’s favorite because she loved giving. She wanted always to share her blessings with others throughout the year, but at Christmas it was on ‘steroids’ – Ha. She kept her maiden name after marriage at a time when it wasn’t commonly done. Most legal documents at that time could not accommodate her ‘impetuous’ style. She lived life to the fullest.
As upset as I am about losing her, I am as equally and profoundly blessed to have had the opportunity to share her life for 41 glorious years.
Thomas C. Moschos
Tom was diagnosed with Stage III renal cell carcinoma in March 2009. After removal of the left kidney he did well for 18 months, and then the cancer metastasized to the bone and the liver and he succumbed to the disease on July 15, 2012. He fought the fight until he no longer could. It was God’s gift to him and to us that he found his peace in our home with his loved ones around him.
I could write endlessly about this wonderful man, but suffice it to say that Tom always thought of others first and himself last, even to his final days. He was generous, always loving, caring, kind, and a man of great character and intellect. What a tremendous legacy he left us and shoes that can’t be filled! No need for more words, his actions said it all and we’ll never forget him. Your memory will be eternal and as for you and me, two simple words - "together forever."
Your loving wife, Sophia; your daughters Elysia, Marina, and Ileana; your grandchildren, Andrew and Alexandra; your son-in-law, Jerry; and all those whose life you touched will never forget you.