Glenn and his wife Datha live near Phoenix, AZ. In 2010 Glenn was diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma, a rare cancer of the smooth muscle cells. In late 2011 he was accepted into a clinical trial in Santa Monica, CA.
In 2008, Glenn began having pain in his left thigh and calf. He spent the next 2 years consulting several different specialists until the last specialist, a vascular surgeon, diagnosed him Venous Reflux Disease in his legs. In 2010 a procedure was performed to collapse a superficial vein in his calf to stop the pain, but the pain still remained. An MRI revealed a tumor (larger than a tennis ball) in his left thigh that was wrapped around an artery, vein and nerve.
Surgery was scheduled a few weeks later. The tumor was removed and a resection done on the artery and vein that was severed by the operation. Glenn remarked, "Thank God the nerve that was severed only caused some nerve damage with minor discomfort and did not affect my ability to walk." The surgeons took a sample of the tumor and initially did not find any cancer. A few weeks later the lab results confirmed a diagnosis of Leiomyosarcoma.
Sixty six days of radiation were successful in removing the cancer in Glenn's left thigh. Unfortunately, the cancer metastasized into the blood stream and several nodules were found in his lungs and liver. In the meantime Glenn's job ended shortly after surgery when his company lost a contract. His wife Datha was also unemployed. With only some savings and retirement benefits, they were barely able to hang on financially.
Chemotherapy was next. After 5 different chemotherapy treatments over a year and half, none were able to stop the nodules from growing. Glenn says his faith in God is what kept him going. They looked for clinical trials in the Phoenix and Tucson areas, they live near Phoenix, but due to the rare form of cancer, none were available.
In the fall of 2011 Glenn was referred to a doctor in Santa Monica, CA and was accepted into a clinical trial. However, it required them fly to Los Angeles every 21 days for over 7 months which put even a larger burden on their finances. The clinic referred them to Lazarex Cancer Foundation for financial assistance during the clinical trial treatments.
Datha said "I will never forget the day I contacted Lazarex Cancer Foundation. In the midst of chaos and uncertainty, they showed a deep concern and compassion for our immediate health and financial circumstances. They took our information and started the procedure to give us travel assistance. I was overwhelmed with joy. My tears were from stress relief, hope, and amazement in the "just in time" support. I felt like someone just covered me with a warm baby blanket and the brick wall was no longer standing."
Glenn added that it was a real blessing when he learned that the foundation approved travel assistance between AZ and CA for his trial. Treatment started in September 2011 and, after receiving 7 months of treatment, there is no new growth and the larger nodules are shrinking.
Glenn stated "I don't know what the next steps look like as we continue down this road, but I thank God for the positive treatment of the cancer and Lazarex Cancer Foundation for providing the means to afford the treatment. The foundation has provided amazing support in the midst of a very stressful time and not just financially."
Patients like this month's VIP, Glenn, are benefiting from support like this every day. Please help us by sending this email to friends who you think would be interested in Lazarex.
Update: Sadly we learned that Glenn passed away on October 10, 2013. The Lazarex staff sends big love to Glenn's wife and family. Rest in Peace Glenn, it was an honor to be a part of your (and your family's) life.