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Meet Amy

Cervical Cancer Survivor; Patient Advisor

"I was compelled to give back some of the life-affirming love, support, care and empathy that all of the Moffitt team gave to me."

By Amy Bondon
Patient Advisor, Patient and Family Advisory Program

Most of my life I’ve been self-sufficient, self-employed and comfortable being alone. In January 2019, I came down for my annual Florida visit from New Jersey. I was looking forward to the Florida sun. My first day in Florida I remember feeling the sun on my face while I was riding my bicycle 30 miles on the Florida Greenway. I was healthy and happy. I never would have guessed that two days later I would be in the emergency room with excruciating pain.

I had always been able to take care of myself, and it was shocking to be in a position where that was no longer the case. I had some very hard weeks filled with pain, an inability to eat and medical tests. Eventually, I came to Moffitt Cancer Center with concerns that I had cervical cancer and needed surgery right away.

I was scared the day of my surgery, having never been sick or hospitalized or having had anesthesia. I woke up from surgery and was told that it was more complicated than initially expected, so they kept me for observation. My gastrointestinal tract shut down. Emergency surgery followed nine days later, and I was very sick and very alone for a long time. Thankfully my deep faith gave me the peace in the midst of this to hang on.

I endured many surgeries, treatments and life-threatening complications that put my life at risk. At Moffitt, I didn’t feel alone. The thing that made my recovery bearable was the amazing connections with the nurses and medical assistants. It meant so much to me that they would take the time to visit and talk with me. I got to know them as people, and one day a nurse even suggested that I become a patient advisor. I was very sick at the time, and I had no idea what a patient advisor was, but that idea stuck with me.

After recovering, I remembered that advice and I looked into becoming a volunteer with the Patient and Family Advisory Program. I was compelled to give back some of the life-affirming love, support, care and empathy that all of the Moffitt team gave to me. As a patient advisor, I would have the opportunity to connect with other people who have had cancer too. Despite being mostly on my own, I inherited the gift of gab from my dear dad. I love getting to know people and hearing their stories. These dear ones melt my heart and give me purpose.

Almost five years out of treatment, I now spend my time visiting people in clinics and the inpatient nursing units at Moffitt. I’m so grateful to be in a position where I can use my experience to provide company, support and encouragement to people who are going through a hard time. Volunteering at Moffitt is the joy of my life.

Have you experienced cancer as a patient or caregiver? Would you like to give back like Amy? Email or call 813-745-2963 to learn about Moffitt’s Patient and Family Advisory Program.

This story was originally published in the PARTNERS newsletter. Visit for more stories and to learn more.