Music has always been an integral part of Sue’s life. An accomplished flute player, Sue studied music in college and earned her master’s degree in music performance. But even as a young girl she always remembered having a mysterious pain in her right side.
It wasn’t until her lung collapsed at age 56 when doctors discovered the cancer in Sue’s chest. She was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma – a rare and slow-growing cancer. The pain she experienced as a child was the sarcoma, and now in her mid-fifties, it had progressed to stage 4 cancer. “I couldn’t breathe,” remembers Sue.
Without treatment options in her home state of Kansas, Sue went to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, to participate in a clinical trial. But she quickly fell into what she describes as medical poverty. Travel expenses piled up as her visits to MD Anderson were frequent and long. Unable to pay for hotel accommodations, she would spend two weeks at a time at a cousin’s house. The stress of being away from home and her own children while going through her clinical trial ballooned as quickly as her bills.
Fortunately, a social worker told Sue about Lazarex, “It seemed too good to be true, I didn’t really believe it was possible that someone would help me to that extent,” she recalls.
Lazarex came through for Sue, and quickly. Without the worry of paying for travel expenses, Sue is able to focus on her health and emotional well-being from the comfort of her home. Sue credits Lazarex with extending her life because their help allowed her to continue her treatment — which has reduced her tumor by 50%. She’s optimistic about starting her second clinical trial soon knowing that Lazarex will be by her side throughout.
It’s been a year since Sue has picked up her flute, but she has every intention of playing music again, “I’m at peace with saving my life,” she says. Not only is Sue looking to her own future, but she thinks of others like her, who are being helped to live longer. “The innovations in cancer research lead to better care for cancer patients in the future. In saving my life, a person donating to Lazarex may be empowering a discovery that will someday save their own life, or the life of a loved one.”