A touching share from the Maritimes

2017-09-20 A touching share from the Maritimes

We have come a long way in the treatment of kidney cancer since my husband was diagnosed in 2000. At the time, his prognosis was poor. There was only one treatment available in Canada and the patient response to the drug was very low. David’s kidney cancer did not respond.

I still remember the long, lonely days and nights in front of the computer trying desperately to find treatments for him.

We travelled to Boston several times where David received another treatment – it did not work. We even travelled to Chicago and Toronto, speaking with the most experienced and knowledgeable oncologists in kidney cancer, hoping to find a treatment, anything, that would work for him.

All roads finally led to a clinical trial opening in Halifax with a targeted drug therapy in 2005. With the advent of targeted therapy, kidney cancer patients had more options. The drug prolonged David’s life for almost 7 years, but unfortunately, he stopped responding to it. David died on June 6, 2012.

Today, the world of kidney cancer treatment and support in Canada is very different from the day when David was first diagnosed.

We have emerging immunotherapies that show good response rates for some kidney cancer patients. A cure has not been found, but drugs are available that prolong a patient’s life.

Kidney Cancer Canada is a vital link for patients and their families. The organization has so much useful information: an active discussion forum on this link where patients and caregivers can ask questions and get answers, there are many free booklets offering important care information and we have an active peer support programme manned by trained volunteers.

With Kidney Cancer Canada, patients and caregivers no longer must spend all their time surfing the net for information or details on https://www.kidneycancercanada.ca/kidney-cancer-trials-in-canada/. Now you can go to one site, find what you need and where it is available in Canada.

Kidney Cancer Canada also funds research and advocates for access to treatments with the provincial governments.

And it is research that is so important to me. None of the new treatments that we have available to kidney cancer patients would have happened without extensive research. Research must continue and it needs funding.

This year there are many opportunities to fundraise for kidney cancer research.

You can donate at kidneycancercanada.ca/donate.

You can stage a fundraising event at kidneycancercanada.ca/togetherwecan.

And you could really have some fun by joining patients, caregivers, families, friends and health care professionals all over the world who are greening their lips. By posting your green lips pictures on social media, tagging and donating to kidney cancer research you can make a real difference in the lives of kidney cancer patients. Check out some of green lips on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The challenge can be found at greenlipstickchallenge.com.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me at kross@kidneycancercanada.ca or 1 (866) 598-7166 ext. 9

I hope you’ll join me because, together we can save lives.

Karen Ross
Board Member responsible for the Maritimes
Kidney Cancer Canada

Kidney Cancer Canada