Theresa Staten was headed home from work in 2016 when she stopped to get gas. Before paying inside the station, Theresa noticed an elderly woman trying to lift a heavy bag of ice out of the freezer. But when Theresa stepped in to help carry the bag, the weight of the ice broke Theresa’s arm. An ambulance took her to the hospital, where a battery of tests revealed a shocking diagnosis: stage 3 multiple myeloma.
Theresa’s doctors immediately started her with traditional therapy. First came radiation, then chemotherapy. She continued on this standard regimen for a few months before undergoing a bone marrow transplant. With all the medical treatments, not only was Theresa feeling awful, the financial strain was mounting. After all this, she would learn the standard treatment wasn’t working.
Theresa’s doctors suggested a clinical trial happening at Rush University in Chicago. When she started on the trial, Theresa was traveling to Rush 3 times a week. While Theresa also lives in Chicago, the frequent trips to Rush became a burden; not only because of the time, but because of the expense. Getting to the clinical trial meant traveling 42 miles. The cost of gas, tolls and parking were rising quickly and Theresa was stressed.
Aware of the situation, a social worker at Rush suggested Theresa contact Lazarex Cancer Foundation. Not long after Theresa reached out, the reimbursements started. Theresa says the stress linked to all the money she was paying for travel costs was immediately alleviated.
“Lazarex has been incredible. When I send them the bills, they send the check right away. It’s such a blessing. It helps so much. I needed to get myself healthy, but the travel costs were weighing on me. When Lazarex started taking care of the mounting bills, it took the stress off my shoulders.”
The reimbursements from Lazarex Cancer Foundation allowed Theresa to stay in her clinical trial. Today, because she stayed the course, Theresa is cancer-free. She says she’s feeling positive about her future and grateful for her time with her mother, daughter, and grandchild. Theresa has also been able to return to work helping foster children transition out of foster care.
December 16, 2019 | Chicago’s WGN Radio 720 interview with Dana Dornsife and Lazarex patient Theresa Staten Host Anna Daviantes talks clinical trials, Lazarex programs and recent efforts to get a bill in Illinois signed into law. Forward to 59:08 to hear the Lazarex interview.