It’s seems like just a last week we distributed our first Gastric Cancer Fund newsletter. Time really has flown by both for me personally and for our foundation. Personally, I recently celebrated two significant milestones. First, on October 18th, I celebrated the two-year anniversary of my gastric cancer diagnosis. Then, on October 27th I celebrated my 40th birthday. It seems really appropriate that my birthday and my diagnosis day are so close together. Two years ago, I honestly didn’t know if I would make it to 40. Now, as I celebrated a birthday that usually comes with lots of lamenting and anxiety, I just was able to celebrate the opportunity to be alive.
Throughout this ordeal, I’ve come to realize that I’m one of the very lucky ones. When it comes to gastric cancer, too few make it to remission at all, let alone two years of being cancer free. While there is always a chance for reoccurrence, each clean test is a victory, a step in the right direction and something to cherish. It’s also a source of motivation to help others get to this place and beyond.
And we are making progress. Good progress. We’re reaching more people than I could have ever imagined. In our first 100 days, I bragged about having 10,000 hits on our website from 25 countries. Now, roughly another 100 days later, we’re over 150,000 hits from over 75 countries around the world. Our organization will be featured in winter issue of CURE Magazine, the largest consumer publication entirely focused on cancer in America. We’re now collecting money from sources across the country and have folks doing amazing fundraising work on our behalf. We’re even hosting our first gala next month in the bay area! To register, go to http://www.gastriccancer.org/gastriccelebration/.
Our fundraising efforts have allowed us to hire a research assistant and begin building our gastric cancer registry. We’ve also secured a substantial technology donation that is in currently being scheduled for deployment later this month. This system will house the registry and power our gastric cancer genomics work.
There is much more work ahead, but our momentum is growing. Soon, we’ll have a registry with data ready to analyze, a system to conduct state of the art tests, and researchers funded to focus only on this critical work and effect real change. I’m so excited about what the future holds for us.
In health and gratitude,
Chairman, Gastric Cancer Fund Board of Directors