John Cain has defied cancer—twice.

For much of his life, John’s chief focus was always work. When he began experiencing crippling pain, his computer software services company remained the top priority, even as the pain was getting worse.

After almost a year, John finally went to see his doctor, who diagnosed stage III colorectal cancer.

“It was a shock. I was numb. Everything just runs through your mind: your wife, your family, your children, your life,” he says.

John’s doctor recommended immediate surgery, but after seeking a second opinion at Dana-Farber, he opted for radiation first to shrink the tumor, and then surgery.

After his successful treatment at Dana-Farber, John thought that phase of his life was behind him.

And then cancer struck again: this time, stage IV lymphoma. No one knew the cause, but he and his Dana-Farber team were determined to beat this cancer, too. “I was scheduled to have an eight-week course of chemotherapy, but in five weeks the cancer was gone,” says Cain.

Cancer times two has caused him to refocus his life goals on what matters most—spending time with his wife, Kathleen, their adult children and grandchildren, and growing the impact of his technology education program in his home city of Quincy, Mass., by spending more time teaching technology to young people and senior citizens.

“I am grateful to Dana-Farber,” he says. “And now, if I can do something for someone every day, that’s what I’m going to do.”

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