"One of the most awkward conversations is when I tell people I have cancer," says Tiarnee Yates.
Tiarnee calls it "the three reactions": 1. He or she has an awkward, silent stare. 2. He or she asks billions of questions. And 3. He or she says, "You don't look like you have cancer."
For Tiarnee, age 22, her ongoing struggle with cancer began during a basketball tournament in March of 2008. She was dominating—until the fifth game of the day when the then-13-year-old's heart became a clenched fist and breathing became difficult.
Her team, the Baltimore Storm, lost that game and many people, including Tiarnee's father, were...