Thanks to my amazing friend Mary and the generosity of so many at the Foley & Lardner law firm in Washington DC, $860 was raised for stomach cancer research as a result of a Jeans Day fundraiser held on the Friday following Grey’s Anatomy…
Please join me for Jean’s Day
Friday, March 13th
With a $5 donation to
Be Strong Hearted – Chelcun Family Fund for Stomach Cancer Research
This Thursday night, Grey’s Anatomy will feature a family facing the difficult challenges and decisions associated with the knowledge they carry a gene linked to a form of stomach cancer known as Hereditary Defuse Gastric Cancer (HDGC).
ABC – Thursday, March 12 at 9 pm/8c
My connection to this disease is my very good friend Karen Chelcun Schreiber (we really are almost sisters). Last September 12th Karen had her stomach removed to prevent getting HDGC (the Grey’s episode airs on her 6 month anniversary). Since then her brother and a nephew have also had their stomachs removed. The post surgery biopsies for all three had precancer and Stage I HDGC present. Only her nephew’s screening test showed evidence of the precancer (Stage I was not found on his screening).
HDGC does not occur as a tumor or “mass” form of cancer. Individual cells become cancerous and can be spread throughout the stomach walls and lining. When screening for this cancer, they must literally find the few affected cells from the millions in the stomach. A positive test would indicate the cancer is there, but for families affected by this disease, a negative only means “maybe” you have the disease since it is so easy to miss the affected cells.
At the present time there are no adequate screening tests to find this cancer before it reaches it’s latest stages and then it is often too late. By testing for a mutation in the CDH1 gene, family members can learn if they are high risk for HDGC. The current treatment for family members carrying the gene is a total gastrectomy – the complete removal of the stomach. Yes, you can live without a stomach however better screening tests are needed because no one should have to live without their stomach.
Karen is a fighter so she started Be Strong Hearted – Chelcun Family Fund for Stomach Cancer Research to raise awareness of this disease and money to assist researchers in finding better screening, treatment and a cure. You can read more about this cause and this disease by visiting http://BeStrongHearted.org I encourage you to read the articles and information provided at the site. Click “Personal Stories” to view the journals of Karen and her nephew Brian as they learn to live without their stomachs. Though this particular cancer is rare, the research into this disease provides information and hope for beating many forms of cancer.
“I think the broader implications of HDGC research are that the small, very early cancers found in the stomachs of HDGC families are rarely seen in the general population (because they are too small to be seen by endoscopy and are asymptomatic). By analysing them we get a unique opportunity to observe the earliest stages of gastric cancer development (which affects >800,000 new people/yr worldwide).
This provides a better understanding of the mechanisms by which the environment triggers cancer development and an opportunity to test and develop new agents for the prevention of many cancer types.” Dr. Parry Guilford, HDGC Researcher, New Zealand
Please watch the show, visit http://BeStrongHearted.org and then wear Jeans on Friday and donate $5 to help researchers discover better screening tests, treatment and yes, a cure for this disease.
Thank you in advance for your support,