You have cancer...
In October 2013 Amy Reed, a physician and mother of six underwent surgery for what her doctors believed were uterine fibroids. Eight days later she received a call no one ever wants to get. "The pathology came back- you have cancer." Amy was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma just a year after the birth of her youngest child. This cancer, which can masquerade as a fibroid, is aggressive, and often resistant to common cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation. Because her surgeon thought she had a simple fibroid, she cut up the cancer inside of Amy using a tool called a morcellator. This spreads the cancer, and for many women significantly worsens their outcomes.
In order to counter the effect of morcellation, Amy underwent a drastic operation called cytoreduction and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC). She was in the hospital for two weeks, missing Thanksgiving with her children, and developed a blood clot in her lungs. The surgery was followed with chemotherapy. Since this time, she has had multiple recurrences requiring surgery and radiation.
During this time, Amy and her husband (Dr. Hooman Noorchashm) fought to end the practice ofmorcellation, a horrific medical practice that OBGYNs have been doing for over 20 years. Dozens ofwomen and family members who have also fallen victim to morcellation have come forward. Many have died. Their campaign has received a lot of national and international recognition from the media. Theyhave petitioned twice at the FDA and have met with members of Congress and the Senate. They have detailed every step of the way in their change.org petition that Hooman started while Amy was still in the hospital.
Both Hooman and Amy, in addition to being physicians, hold Ph.D.s in immunology. So, while continuing to face the hurdles of standard sarcoma treatments, they continued to push for safer devices at the level of the FDA and Congress as well as taking the fight to lab. Sadly, on May 24, 2017, Amy lost her battle to leiomyosarcoma. While she is no longer here with us, we will continue the courageous fight she started. So please, join us if you can on October 14th and support us in our efforts to Slay Sarcoma by registering for the run or consider donating as we partner with the University of Pennsylvania Abramson Cancer Centerto help us battle this monster in the lab by clicking Donate Today. The proceeds raised by the annual Slay Sarcoma 5K Walk/Run go entirely to funding research and trials focused on sarcoma. This is sorely needed if we are going to find a cure.