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Multiple cancer survivor gives back to others battling disease

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John Raslavsky has beaten cancer six times and now volunteers to work with cancer patients at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa. (Source: CBS 5 News) John Raslavsky has beaten cancer six times and now volunteers to work with cancer patients at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa. (Source: CBS 5 News)
MESA, AZ (CBS5) -

John Raslavsky spends several hours a week roaming the halls of Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa.

"Being informed. That's our job. Love our patient, care for them and make sure they're informed," he said about what he does.

Raslavsky, 70, is not a doctor. He's an American Cancer Society volunteer who shares his cancer story with patients who are newly diagnosed with the disease.

"(They) are so receptive. So glad I'm there and so willing to listen to my story and what I did and why I did so well and what you have to do to do well."

When the Chandler man was diagnosed with lung cancer 10 years ago, he said it didn't come as a complete shock.

"I have 14 aunts and uncles … all of them have cancer. Every single one of them have cancer of some sort or died of it. I knew it was in my DNA," he said.

Raslavsky went on to beat the cancer and five more recurrences.

"After the third time I'd go, here we go again."

Raslavsky said the cancer is still in his blood. But volunteering, he said, helps him keep looking forward. Part of that job includes fitting women fighting cancer with wigs.

"My mother and my aunt were hairdressers so I grew up with hair," he said about his experience.

He estimates he's fitted over 1,000 wigs since he started volunteering.

"I tell them how great they look and how beautiful they are."

Though he can't change their diagnosis, John believes he can often help improve a cancer patient's outlook.

"Best thing I've ever done. It is so rewarding for me. That's why I do it to relieve the suffering. It's the only reason I do it. I get nothing else out of this," he said about why he volunteers.

Click Live Forever with Cancer to visit Raslavsky's website where he blogs about his cancer and cancer treatment.

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