Ten years ago, Brian Monaghan heard the word we all fear – cancer. He was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma that had metastasized to his brain. He was told to prepare for the worst, that he only had a few months to live.

His prognosis was so dire that he was ready to grasp at anything that provided any hope at all. Then, he and his wife realized they had to fight two major battles, one against the cancer and the other against the health-care system. The latter turned out to be the more difficult.

Along the way, Brian and Gerri learned so much about how to navigate through the pitfalls of hospital systems and insurance companies that they wrote a book about it to help others avoid similar problems. “The Power of Two: Surviving Illness with An Attitude” provides answers to the many questions that come up during a time you’re least prepared to deal with them.

Looking for other survivors with attitude? Check out the extraordinary people featured in our Cancer Survivors channel.