Fighting For A Cure: A Friends Perspective

Aside

img_6987

Kelly Marie Schwerin has been one of many friends who witnessed the chaos, struggle, and perseverance throughout my six year battle.  When I returned from Philadelphia from my CAR T Cell journey, it was Kellys birthday.  On October 26, 2016 this is what she wrote:

You touched down at the airport last night as the clock ticked my birthday. I can’t help but imagine how YOU are actually the Birthday Girl. I’ll GLADLY share October 5th with you. For on your fight for a cure, THIS is the day you return to your home in California. After multiple medical ‘death sentences’, you have been released from your struggle by diligent, unrelenting, Science. YOU made this happen. YOU fought for your place in this world. You never wavered. You never gave up hope. You DEMANDED your right to access CarT-Cell therapy, and you will now be the case study for the expansion of that study. You didn’t just save your own live. You created an entirely new group of standards for future participants. Yes, you fight for the cure on a large scale. But your individual fight for YOUR CURE has opened the door for countless others. YOU took one HUGE GAMBLE. You turned down a perfect bone marrow transplant match. You did it because you believed in what they were doing in Philadelphia. You took the ULTIMATE leap of faith. And in doing so, you have opened the door to save countless lives beyond your own. So I am BEYOND proud to share this day, my birthday, with you. In fact, I’m lucky in that YOU share it with me. I love you.        

 

Advertisements

Miracles at Penn Medicine

I completed my CAR T Cell Treatment on October 4th 2016 and five days later I was declared cancer free!  In fact, my tests showed I am in the deepest remission possible.

I was the first adult to turn down a 10/10 bone marrow transplant so I could allow myself to relapse, thus qualifying for the trial. It was a tough battle to get into the trial at Penn due to active CNS involvement for over two years, but I fought hard and in every possible way.  My efforts paid off because I will be giving a speech for The Parker Foundation at UPENN on October 25th, 2016!

I have photos with Carl June, Bruce Levine, and Don Siegle below.  I’m looking forward to speaking at the event!  I will have an update ASAP!

[Photo:  Myself, Dr. Bruce Levine, and , Dr. Don L Siegel. This was my first day of T cell transfusion].

[Photo: myself and Dr. Don Siegel. Photo was taken in their new lab which is also where Joe Biden had his photo taken for the cancer moonshot]

[Photo:  Dr. Carl June, myself, and Dr. Don Siegel.  Map behind us says, “Where in the World Is Carl June”]