I will be walking 13 miles near my house in Dover to help raise funds in the battle against leukemia and related disorders. I have been in this fight for over 30 years. I am fortunate to have worked alongside incredible individuals at Dana Farber and indeed throughout the world who have dedicated their professional lives to ridding the world of these cancers which can deprive patients and their families of so much. The struggle has been intellectually interesting and gratifying in that we have indeed made wonderful discoveries in the understanding of leukemia and brought well over a dozen FDA approved therapies to bear against these diseases in the last three years alone. Almost all involved a significant measure of contribution from the DFCI leukemia team. The team consists of so many from the doctors who do the clinical trials, to the brilliant scientists who make the critical discoveries, to the nurse practitioners and physician assistants, to the clinical research coordinators who help perform the trials, to the nurses on the inpatient and outpatient service who administer the drugs and comfort the patients. to the statisticians, the pathologists, radiologists, Brigham interns and residents, outstanding Dana Farber fellows and really everybody at this incredible institution at all levels. We do great things, but our mission critically depends on community support.
We are on the cusp of additional breakthroughs. Nonetheless, we have a long way to go and require maximum resources for our research.
Just this morning we lost a 23-year-old young man- a patient of mine who fought acute myeloid leukemia over the last four years. Though quality and so much quantity of life was denied to him with multiple rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant, he never lost his sense of humor or faith. Somehow today his mother was able to express profound thanks to me and the team for all we had tried. Not that we need more incentive to do research in the lab and at the bedside to prevent such tragedies; it seems pretty simple to walk a few miles to emphasize the need to raise more funds to help think of new ways to treat these diseases.
I will be walking for our past, present and future patients. My daughter, Sarah will be walking in Brooklyn since we are all walking ‘where we are”. The walk is very personal to us, as Sarah is a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma survivor thanks to the wonderful care she received from colleagues including walkers Dr Ann LaCasce and nurse Hannah Freedman.
Thanks for your support
With thanks and best wishes
Rich Stone, MD