Young Survivors

What science can learn from the first generation of kids to beat childhood cancer

Colby Katz for TIME

Karen Dyer practices yoga at the Namaste Yoga Studio in Tampa, Florida on July 15, 2007. Dyer was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 15.

To most people, Aug. 27 is a day just like any other. Tucked in between the carefree yawn of summer and the impending rigors of fall, it straddles a bittersweet block of the calendar, but to Karen Dyer, it is much more than that. Aug. 27, 1994, marked her arduous transition from typical teen to cancer patient. That was the day doctors removed what they thought was a benign cyst above her left hip. Then 15, Dyer learned that her life had changed forever. "It's funny," she says. "My main worry then was losing my hair, of looking different from everyone...

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