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Scott’s Story


Scott is Given a Second Chance and Ready to Start a New Life

In 2004 when I was 30 years old, I was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. Since that time, I’ve undergone four operations, 18 months of chemotherapy and 70 days of radiation. My body simply couldn’t seem to rid itself of this aggressive metastatic disease.

At the start of this year, Ewing’s had once again reoccurred in both of my lungs. As the disease had not responded to previous chemotherapy treatments, my survival depended upon alternative methods. My oncologist, Dr. David Christian Harmon from Massachusetts General Hospital in Cambridge, referred me to Dr. Sant Chawla, an oncologist in Santa Monica, California.

Dr. Chawla and his staff were experimenting with the antibody drug R1507. This drug, unlike chemotherapy, has limited to virtually no sideffects. This all was quite shocking to me and my family, and it also surprised us that this new treatment option was available to only a handful of fortunate people.

My family and I decided that my brother-in-law and I would travel to California to learn more about R1507. I had no choice but to place my life in the hands of Dr. Chawla and pray to God that this treatment would save my life.

Before receiving treatment, my initial problem was figuring out how to relocate to California to be near Dr. Chawla’s Sarcoma Oncology Center. As I am on a fixed income, it was financially impossible for me to afford this costly, temporary move The next problem was how a man on a fixed income could live in one of the most expensive cities in the United States. As fate would have it, Dr. Chawla gave us the name of Lazarex Cancer Foundation, a foundation that assists people who cannot afford to receive treatment.

After my brother-in-law spoke with Dana Dornsife, the Foundation’s president, and told her about my health and financial condition, she called me the next day with the news that Lazarex would cover all my living expenses, allowing me to receive the life saving treatment. I was completely and utterly shocked that something positive was happening in my life. I was speechless. Dana provided the miracle that I so desperately needed at this point in my life. [above, Susan Sappington, Director, Lazarex Cancer Foundation; Scott; Dana Dornsife, President, Lazarex Cancer Foundation]

My family and I are grateful to have such wonderful people like Dana and all the people at Lazarex come into our lives. I extend my utmost appreciation to the Lazarex Cancer Foundation and my prayers go out to those who may someday be as fortunate as me and my family to be given this chance of a lifetime.

Thank you greatly,

Scott Robert Zenaro

Update (3/20/08):

Scott’s most recent scan showed that his tumors have decreased by half since he began treatment just a few weeks prior.

Update (January 2010):

In late summer of 2009 Scott stopped responding to the antibody drug. In autumn 2009 he began receiving a new clinical trial treatment and has been responding well.

Update (February 2010):

Sadly, on February 24, 2010 Scott passed away from complications due to his disease. He was a Lazarex patient and friend for over two years. Scott’s courage and determination both inspired us and deepened our resolve to be a source of hope for people with end-stage cancer.