My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Lazarex Cancer Foundation, Danville, CA, USA
I am a retired engineer and I have been battling brain cancer since 2012. I have had 2 craniotomies, one in 2012 and one in 2016, 2 months of radiation therapy in 2013. Then in November of 2017 my routine MRI showed a cluster of 12 new tumors on my brain. My oncologist and neurosurgeon from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) spent some time reviewing my images and discussing the few options left for me to battle cancer once again. For many reasons they ruled out further surgery and radiation treatments. But instead recommended that I meet with another oncologist/hematologist at MGH who was leading a clinical trial on the use of Pembrolizumab to treat specific brain cancers. This however was a good news bad news situation. My prior craniotomies placed 14 titanium plates on my skull and the radiation treatments left me with encephalomalacia (a scab like mass of the remnants of the radiated remains from my first tumor) which combined left me with an acute sensitivity to the cold. So my wife and I moved from Rhode Island to Naples, Florida. The good news is that I had the required genetic defect PD-L1 in my cancer that is required for the Pembrolizumab to be effective. The bad news is that I had to travel to MGH in Boston every 3 weeks to receive my treatments. The expense and strain of traveling that much is terrible. Then one of the hospital staff gave me some contact information for Lazarex. After about 6 months of waiting for an opening I was accepted to receive their financial support. This has given me new hope instead of having to trade spending all of my retirement savings on the hope of surviving for some limited time or just giving up the fight. Travel and boarding expenses in Boston every 3 weeks for the foreseeable future are well beyond my ability to pay.
Steve! Thank you for taking the time to write the review. We are sorry about the wait - it's all about the funding. We have to make sure we have enough funds set aside to continue to help the patients in our program while considering how many new applicants we can accept. We are so glad to be able to help support you on this trial. Keep us posted! We'll continue to send you good vibes.