Bristol-Myers David Koch Melanoma MSKCC New York Post Yervoy
Donations for Research and the controversy it can bring...
Ok it's a working title... and not quite sure it's working well!
So - some of you may have seen the article in the New York Post that came out today? Well... Sunday I had gotten back from grocery shopping and was relaxing some when a fellow Melanoma Warrior Chelsea asked if I was available to talk with a reporter from the NY Post. I said why not (even though I know sometimes how things can be spun in the Post).
When the reporter called, he said he was doing a follow up story they did about protesters against donations that David Koch had provided to New York Presbyterian hospital. He gave NYP nearly $100 million dollars and folks that were against his views protested the donation. In researching it, they found that he had also given Sloan Kettering over $60 million dollars over the years with a lot of that money helping fund the research behind Bristol-Myers Yervoy for the treatment of metastatic Melanoma. Some folks may remember that when I first started at Sloan as a Stage 3 patient, I tried getting access to this drug as a part of a clinical trial. I wouldn't get in, but in Sept 2012, I'd take the drug after a tumor was found in my small intestine.
The interview was really around how do I feel about Koch donating money to MSKCC and funding research. In my opinion, I don't care what your political views are, if you're willing to donate millions for life saving cancer research - Thank You!
I took 4 doses of Yervoy Sept-Nov 2012. When I had my 12 week scans, like many others, I experienced growth. When they scanned at 16 weeks, shrinkage! and then I started Merck's Anti-PD1 clinical trial.
Back to working titles of articles... when it was posted this morning, it stated something about how Cancer Patients Bash Koch hospital donation protestors. Ok... at first glance I thought it meant we were bashing Koch. I'm not typically in the habit of bashing people. I have much bigger things in life to worry about! It must have come out that way to others, since the title was than changed to Koch Hospital Saved my Life: Cancer Patient. Well... if someone asked me what saved my life, I wouldn't phrase it that way... but the point is that it's silly to get caught up in politics. So many other things to worry about in life!
On another note - it was quite the experience how they brought it all together. And who knew they'd use my picture at the top of the story (sorry folks! was told to be serious and not a lot of notice)... A very nice photographer John Roca came to my messy apartment to snap a few pics.
Well it's been a long day! Scans, physical therapy (have had some swelling from lymphedema), and work... this girl is exhausted!
Stay tuned for results later this week!