‘Debbie Does Bethesda’: Morristown’s Debra Gottsleben shares how she beat cancer rap

ON THE MEND: Debra Gottsleben. Photo courtesy of Debra Gottsleben.
ON THE MEND: Debra Gottsleben. Photo courtesy of Debra Gottsleben.

Debra Gottsleben touches many lives in Morristown.

She has helped countless students as a librarian at Morristown High School. She volunteers long hours for meetings as a member of the town planning board. She was a big asset to her husband, Jay DeLaney, during his years as mayor.

Now, she is offering hope and encouragement to anyone facing a cancer diagnosis.

On The Powerful Patient podcast, Gottsleben shares how her inquisitive nature led her to an skilled team at the National Institutes of Health who saved her kidney after a genetic tumor was discovered.

“You have to keep persevering,” she advises:

Listen to the podcast

“Sometimes you do tend to cocoon a little bit, and maybe you don’t want to talk about an illness. But by talking, you never know what connections you’ll make with people.

“And sometimes by talking with them, they know somebody, or they know somebody who knows somebody. And those connections are really, really powerful,” says Gottsleben, who also found a doctor at Johns Hopkins with an innovative procedure to detect her type of kidney tumors.

“You really do have a lot more power than you think you do.”



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