Making a Difference

Last night was the Eaton Vance Rooftop Reception. I cannot express how much I look forward to this annual event. Jeff Beale, and Eaton Vance has hosted this valued event for the Dana-Farber leadership council for 13 years. There are many reasons to enjoy attending but the sole reason I go is because of the intimate setting that allows us to meet with some of Dana-Farber’s magnificent doctors, scientist, nurses and directors that dedicate their life to helping those who have cancer and their families. They speak about their projects, research, treatments and most importantly, their patients with such passion. We have the precious opportunity to ask them questions about them and their work. Their answers consistently amaze us.

It is rare to get an opportunity to personally see how your donations make a difference. Many of their programs and research are solely funded by people like you. They are improving the quality of care, saving lives, and continuing the effort to cure and prevent cancer.

Each year 6 exceptional Dana-Farber professional are invited to speak to us. The forum has 8-12 of us at one of six tables, and each of the speaker rotate to the tables. They have 15 minutes to talk and answer questions. The time always seems too short, but you would be amazed how much is discussed in that time. This year’s guest were amazing. Their stories touched our hearts, made us think and be thankful.

David Barbie is an Assistant Professor in Medicine and specialized in Thoracic Oncology. Dr. Barbie researches novel targets for therapy in lung cancer. He spoke about the advances in drug therapy, especially for non-smokers. His discussion on early screening for cancers and the cost of healthcare was insightful. Dr. Barbie describe himself as both a scientist and doctor, which provides a unique perspective in his research.

Kira Bona is an instructor in Pediatrics specializing in Pediatric Hematologic Malignancies. Dr. Bona researches the long-term economic impact of cancer of families of pediatric patients. This is a perspective on how income effects the rate of cancer, the treatment and the continual on going health of the child after treatment. Dr. Bona stated that much of the economic data is not there yet because the information is not collected. They hope to improve this overtime.

Douglas E Brandoff is an instructor in Medicine specializing in Adult Palliative care. Dr. Bandoff directs the Adult Palliative Care Clinic at Dana-Farber. What he does is amazing. It took a few minutes to sink in how important his role is to both the patient and the family. His role is to relieve and prevent the suffering of his patients. It is a job that takes an emotion toll on a person, and we are thankful for people like Dr. Bandoff.

Richard Boyajian is the clinical directory of Dana-Farber’s Survivorship Clinic, where he also serves as a nurse practitioner. Richard Boyajian is also a cancer survivor. He spoke openly about his own experience and the incredible changes in treatment since he was a patient.

Ellen Casey-Magleby is a Program Administrator for Dana-Farber’s Office of Patient and Family Assistance. This program assists patients and their family who are in financial need. The money helps reduce some of the daily living cost while on treatment. These expenses could be transportation, parking or even groceries. Her stories are both heartwarming and heartbreaking at times. This program is completely donor funded.

Nikhil Wagle is an Instructor in Medicine specializing in cancer genomics and personalized medicine. Dr. Wagle researches the susceptibility of cancer cells to chemotherapy. He described the advances in identifying cancers in the human genome. Dr. Wagle discussed the ability to identify these in patients early, by taking a tiny sample from prior treatments and test. Standards in patient protocol will help make testing easier in the future.

You can help people like this to continue making great strides again cancer.

Please donate today at http://www.rundfmc.org/2013/patricko

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