My name is Steven Warren and this letter is a testimonial on my journey with cancer and the fantastic help I have received from the LAZAREX CANCER FOUNDATION.
In 2010 I was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma on the base of my tongue. I went through 5 rounds of chemotherapy. Each round was 24 hours a day for 5 days straight. The chemo reduced the size of the tumor so that the radiation treatments would be more effective. I went through 35 high dose radiation treatments. The treatments were 5 days a week for seven weeks. After the radiation treatments I was told that the PET scan showed no residual disease. I was elated but not totally convinced. After 6 months the cancer returned even though I was told that they had never seen cancer recur in less than a year. Obviously it was not totally gone and I was not sure how they had missed it. They finally got around to operating on the cancer 6 months later with a radical neck dissection. Again they told me that they felt that they got it but 6 months later it was back again.
I sat in the surgeon’s office and listened to him say how sorry he was and there was nothing else they could do for me. The Dr. told me my best bet at this point was to look for a clinical trial. He shook my hand and said how sorry he was and wished me luck. I got no help on where to look or even what kind of trial I should look for.
After a month of feeling terrible physically and getting worse each day I had a bit of luck come my way. My ex-wife, who at the time was working as a nurse for a dermatologist, told me that her boss said that Stanford was one of the top clinics in the world for cancer treatment. The next day I got a list of the clinical trials in the United States. I got the list from the American Cancer Society. After about 4 hours of searching we found a clinical trial at Stanford Medical Clinic that seemed like a perfect fit for my situation. After many phone calls and e-mails I was informed that I qualified for a trial that was based on an immunological approach. It took some doing to qualify for the trial. I was fortunate to have a friend who was indispensable in plowing through the paper work required to get on the trial.
The trial is 1 to 2 days every three weeks. Since I live in Hawaii it was going to be very expensive to commute to Stanford every three weeks. This is the point where LAZAREX came to the rescue. I Googled the internet to find them. They told me that they could help me with some of my expenses involved in all of the traveling I was going to have to do. That was an understatement to say the least! To make a long story short, without the help LAZAREX has given me I would not have been able to afford the trial and would probably not be here to write this testimonial.
The treatment works by giving me an IV with a drug in it that that kills the cancer’s defense cells that protect it from my body’s immune system. Then I get a boost of antibodies to help my own system kill the cancer cells while they are down. Some people have side effects from the treatment but they are usually mild. I am fortunate in having no side effects at all.
I cannot say enough about how LAZAREX has helped me through this difficult time in my life. I would also like to thank the donors (Trailblazers) from the bottom of my heart for their contributions to the LAZAREX CANCER FOUNDATION for without them there is no LAZAREX!! Keep up the awesome work.