My husband Gary and I have an unusually long journey with cancer—26 years now. In 1989, we both left our first careers and returned to school to become medical physicists in clinical radiation oncology.
In 2001, cancer entered our life in a very different and personal way when Gary’s father was diagnosed with advanced metastatic clear cell renal cancer and died just 3 months later. Gary’s dad worked hard his whole life with a wish to leave something to his children. What would have broken his father’s heart is that he left Gary an unexpected and profound inheritance—a still unknown gene predisposing him to kidney cancer.
My husband has been a trial warrior since the day he was diagnosed in 2007. He has been evaluated for or participated in 8 clinical trials to date. We continue to seek trials at every turn, and to educate and inform other patients of the opportunities and the service to others that trials present.
Since Gary and I started in cancer care in 1989, I cannot tell you how many miracles we’ve seen bloom in the field. Hodgkins, seminomas, childhood cancers and lymphomas, and other cancers have seen miraculous changes in response. In genetics research, we see the miracle of the blueprint of cancer slowly unfolding and pointing the way toward new treatments.
Even in the tough cancers like kidney cancer, we can see little miracles. I’ve lost wave after wave of kidney cancer forum friends, but even in that loss, I see more of my RCC friends surviving to the 3 and 5 year marks. As we have more immunotherapy choices, I see more friends with the bigger miracle of durable responses that allow kidney cancer patients to return to their work and their lives. And Gary and I are more than blessed that he has had one of those 3-year miracles.
We KCCure founders all feel a deep honor in raising funds that can create the next generation of miracles.