“What do you mean you won’t take my money?”
“I’m sorry ma’am, but there is no research being done for Small Cell Cervical Cancer, we don’t even have any information about it, so your money wouldn’t go towards that particular cancer. Have you tried the National Cervical Cancer Coalition?”
“Yes, I already tried. No luck there either. Thanks anyway!”
After calling and emailing numerous organizations for the goal of finding information or to contribute money to the research of SCCC, I realized I couldn’t find anything because nothing was being done. There was no info. No good info. No positive info. No hope. Nothing for me to go back to my sister with to help ease her fears. This was July 2010.
I kept searching. I googled and read, and googled and read. I kept coming upon MDAnderson, ranked #1 cancer center. I figured if someone could help me, they could. I reviewed the bios of a few of the gyn oncologists and choose Dr. Pedro Ramirez. It was a shot in the dark, but I figured it was worth a shot. Dr. Ramirez referred me to the development office and a representative emailed me. MJ Suehs just happened to be coming to Philly in October and would LOVE to meet my sister Jen and I to discuss our philanthropic interests! Boy oh boy was I excited! Nervous as heck, but excited!
I really only had about $50 to donate. Who would fly across the county for a $50 donation?? Oh no, I’ll bet she thinks I’m rich and want to donate thousands!! Jen and I just decided to go along with whatever was happening and see where it took us.
Upon meeting with MJ, she said she would see what they could do. She started speaking to Dr. Michael Frumovitz who offered to help spearhead the efforts. In his professional opinion, an on-line global registry for physicians as well as patients would be the best “bang for our buck”. With so few patients available, traditional clinical trials just wouldn’t work. This was it. This was our shot. Someone was not only willing to listen, but willing to help! Fund-raising began immediately to help fill our fund! Custom silicon SCCC bracelets “Rare But There, Help for Hope, Hope for Help” were made to help facilitate funds. After this, the SCCC sisterhood took off with ideas of t-shirts, magnets, walks, benefits, etc. The money started coming in from around the world.
While SCCC is rare, these women are there. To the few it affects, it becomes everything. It becomes their life, and they will never be the same. All they want is the opportunity to be alive and well, and heard and helped like the more common, widely publicized cancers. They want hope too. They are now getting it! Newly diagnosed sisters now have hope! They do not have to feel alone. They can know that SOMEONE is doing SOMETHING to help. Thank you to MDAnderson for opening your hearts to help and for all of our family and friends for opening your wallets. Thank you for your prayers and your love.
While most people say that hard work, perseverance, and a positive attitude will get you far. I say, God will get you farther. I thank God for allowing all of this to happen and guiding our steps along the way. I thank God for saving Jen’s life. She has just celebrated her 8 year cancer free anniversary!! We have raised over $700,000 and the funds continue to come in. God is in control and has allowed all of this to happen. For his purposes.
Proverbs 3:6:” In all thy ways, acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Thank you God, for directing me to MDAnderson.