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Cynt Marshall, Sandi Chapman, and James Fripp on When Their Life Took an Unexpected Turn

How a cancer diagnosis, a spouse's death, and being disqualified from the armed services changed career trajectories.
By | |Illustrations by Jake Meyers, headshots courtesy of companies

Cynt Marshall

CEO, Dallas Mavericks

“I was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in December 2010. I started chemotherapy a month later. I called upon my faith, family, friends, and great medical professionals to help me. I was very public about my journey because I couldn’t face it or fight it alone. I focused on the ‘can’ in cancer, knowing that I was uniquely equipped for the journey. It was unexpected. It was brutal. I still have side effects from chemo. But I am cancer-free. I am blessed.”


Sandra Bond Chapman

Founder and Chief Director Center for BrainHealth

“My first husband died when I was in the middle of my doctoral program. I was paralyzed and felt as though I could not continue a single day more on my track. All hope seemed to disappear when he died. But his deathbed wish for me was that I would finish my PhD and someday have a center to help the patients and individuals I cared so much about to discover new pathways of brain repair and resilience. I carried on, and his wish inspires me still.”


James Fripp

Chief Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Officer, Yum! Brands

“My dream in life was to follow my father’s footsteps and join the Air Force. But when I went to enlist, I was PDQ’d (permanently disqualified) because I had eczema. My professional life, as I saw it, was over. But once I changed my mindset, I went all in on my career with Yum! Brands. As a result, I have not only achieved my personal goals, I’m able to positively influence and impact lives globally on a daily basis.”


Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the managing editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500, monthly…

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