In November 2014, my mom Selina Chan was diagnosed with stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer. We were all shocked at how a non-smoker could get lung cancer. It turned out she had an EGFR mutation that caused the cancer. The prognosis for a five-year survival rate for those who are diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer is less than 10 percent; another devastating blow to us. My mom sought treatment at Dana Farber and here we were given HOPE by her oncologist and her nurse. Tarceva was her targeted drug therapy for the next 2 years. It gave her a new “normal” life, and most importantly it gave us more time to be together. When Tarceva stopped working, she went in for chemotherapy. We still held on to HOPE when we were told she was not responding to chemo. I was heartbroken the day I found out that there was nothing else that could be done for my mom. I remember the barrage of emotions that I felt and that was the day I had given up on HOPE. My mom passed away July 26, 2017 after fighting for 32 months.
I am walking in memory of my mom who was the anchor in my life. When I would start to drift away she was always able to pull me back in. I decided to take the pain and turn it into something positive. I have walked the full 26.2 miles for the past 3 years. I still feel the pain and the absence of my mom every single day, but I try and channel this pain into HOPE for others. My mom was the most generous person that I have known, and she sacrificed so much for my family and I. I want to give HOPE to others so that their anchor can still be a part of their lives.
Funds raised from the Jimmy Fund walk will go to patient care at Dana Farber and for new research. It was funds raised that gave my mom 32 months. My mom passed away 5 months after Tarceva stopped working which meant she would have passed away a lot sooner if it weren’t for the targeted drug therapy. Help me fight cancer and give HOPE to others!