Thank you for reading my story. I know many of you have been affected by cancer.
As you know, the path to survival can be as debilitating and as much of a struggle as the disease itself. Surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, constant drugs, and life altering emotional struggles accompany this disease from its first diagnosis to (sometimes) life’s last breath.
Prior to October 2006, the only thing I knew about cancer was that “people died from it.” I had lost family members and friends to cancer. I knew rich and famous people died from cancer.
Then, in October 2006, I was diagnosed with squamous cell throat cancer.
After my surgery (radical neck dissection), my doctor told me that, based on the size of the tumor and the fact the cancer had spread to surrounding neck and chest lymph nodes, he did not believe my “prognosis for survival” was good. But, he said, go talk to your oncologist.
So, I went to see my oncologist. The doctor told me that he had read the surgeon’s report. My oncologist told me that although he would bombard me with chemotherapy, he concurred with my surgeon that my prognosis for survival was not good. But, he said, go talk to your radiologist.
So, I went to see my radiologist. The doctor told me that he had read my surgeon’s report and my oncologist’s report; however, my radiologist said that “based on his RESEARCH”, he believed he could save my life.
Suddenly, because of that one word (RESEARCH) I had HOPE for survival.” And, I did survive.
Since then, after a second diagnosis of prostate cancer in 2015 and a third diagnosis of lymphoma in 2021, I know that every day, all over the world, there are researchers like the dedicated people who work with the American Association for Cancer Research®(AACR) who are discovering new ways to treat and potentially cure cancer.
Although my prostate cancer returned and I needed radiation treatments, I still believe with all my heart that it is because of RESEARCH that my hope and the hopes of so many others, for survival continues.
Defeating cancer will not come without a strong and continuing commitment to funding the research that the AACR is doing.
On April 15, 2023, I participated as the "Survivor Ambassador" in the AACR Runners for Research 5K Run/Walk in Orlando, Florida.
Thanks to everyone who supported me, I raised over $3,000.
More importantly, because of your generosity and support of over 500 AACR individual runners and teams, we raised over $160,000!
Just because the 2023 AACRRunners For Research 5K Run/Walk Orlando is finished, the Race To Find A Cure Is Not Over.
The “Race and Fight” continue….
Next year, the AACR will be holding its 2024 AACR Runners for Research 5K Run/Walk San Diego in conjunction with the AACR Annual Meeting 2024. I hope you will make every effort to participate in fundraising for the AACR/