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JOIN THE BATTLE. Beat Rare Cancers.
Cancer wasn't supposed to happen to me. I had no family history; I was too young; I ate well; I exercised; I went to the doctor when I was supposed to go; I had never had any serious medical issues; I was negative for any BRCA gene mutations. Cancer wasn’t supposed to happen to ME. But despite all of the really great reasons why it wasn't supposed to happen, I was diagnosed with Colon Cancer at 41 years old...and it was Stage 4. There is no Stage 5.
I had a large tumor that almost completely obstructed my colon (or large intestine), and I went on to find out later that it had metastasized to my liver and my lungs. What followed my diagnosis was a brutal and excruciating series of treatments that has thus far included 5 surgeries, 39 rounds of chemotherapy and 5 ER visits, as well as plenty of other pretty unpleasant things. The 5-year survival rate for Stage 4 Colorectal Cancer is said to be somewhere around 11-14%, depending on the source. Not exactly favorable odds. Yet, here I am, 3.5 years post diagnosis, and I have no evidence of disease. Why? Am I one of the lucky ones of the unlucky ones? Perhaps. But I don’t chalk it up to just not drawing the shortest straw. There came a point in my treatment when I was forced to make some changes. Those changes brought me to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) and a medical oncologist named Dr. Nancy Kemeny. I soon learned that she is a brilliant, tireless giant of a doctor and human, a woman who is unafraid to think outside the box and treat aggressively and who pioneered a cutting edge treatment called Hepatic Arterial Infusion Therapy. She did it against many odds, simply because, in her words, “everyone was dying and something had to be done.” Depending on which of her published studies you read, she has 5 year survival rates for Stage 4 patients as high as 52%...a far cry from the 11-14% overall Stage 4 survival rates. She could have retired by now...but she hasn't slowed down. She still sees thousands of patients, conducts ongoing research, runs numerous clinical trials and trains doctors from all over the world on how to administer the life saving treatment that she pioneered.
On February 8, 2020, my husband, Jon, as well as some dear family and friends, will be riding in a Cycle for Survival event to raise money for MSKCC that will be allocated specifically to Dr. Kemeny’s research so that she can continue saving lives...just like she saved mine.
Please, please join us in raising money for this incredibly important research. Let's stop Colorectal Cancer from being one of the deadliest cancers. EVERY little bit helps. Here are links to donate and, if you are interested, to hear more about this cutting edge treatment. Thank you so so much for your support.
P.S. Colorectal Cancer (CRC) is one of the deadliest, yet most PREVENTABLE, cancers. Each year, almost 2 million people will be diagnosed worldwide and almost 1 million will die. It is the 3rd deadliest form of cancer. The number of early onset cases of CRC (below age 50) is on track to double by 2030. As per American Cancer Society guidelines, if you are 45 or over, GET A COLONOSCOPY!!! If you have symptoms or a family history, GET A COLONOSCOPY!!!
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