Charlotte, NC, December 18, 2014 --(PR.com
)-- Gonna BEAT This Thing is a YES (www.beatlivertumors.org) awareness campaign created to help raise attention and increase support and information about advanced cancer. There is much discussion about prevention and early detection of cancer yet little conversation surrounding cancer that has spread from the original site, or is considered advanced or terminal cancer. “Gonna BEAT This Thing” aims to change the negative stigma of dying from cancer to living with cancer.
Charlotte resident, Melissa Hadley, miraculously celebrated being 5 years cancer free in August. Her story starts back in 2001 when she noticed a small dark spot on the back of her left shoulder. A biopsy was done and it turned out to be melanoma. She had surgery to remove that and to check lymph nodes. At that time the lymph nodes were clean. Fast forward to December 2005 when she found a lump under her left arm. Her oncologist ordered a needle biopsy.
The results concluded that the lump was indeed a return of her melanoma so she had a CT scan and PET scans. Those scans showed the melanoma had spread to her liver. She had two liver tumors at the time. Her oncologist decided after surgery to remove the lump that chemotherapy should begin. After three months of treatment there was no change in the tumors. She took a few months off while nothing changed and then, after a year, she had cyber knife. The liver tumors remained. Her oncologist next sent her to see an interventional radiologist, Dr. Eric Wang at Carolinas Medical Center, to determine if he could help. Dr. Wang decided Melissa would be a good candidate for Sir-Spheres microspheres. She had that procedure in December 2008. The treatment worked; killing almost all of the tumors, followed by a couple of RFA treatments (radio frequency ablation) in 2009 to destroy any remaining cells.
Since that last procedure, Melissa has been cancer free. She has experienced hearing she had a terminal melanoma with tumors that spread to the liver to actively living with no evidence of disease. She has now changed from a CT scan every 3 months to now once a year. Melissa tried every treatment possibility to beat this thing called cancer and so far she has with much appreciated support along the way.
No cancer is easy. There is not yet a cure. “So when cancer spreads, the patient is thrust into the fight of their lives for themselves and those they love. Many patients are not provided with a care plan like Melisa had. They don’t receive or learn of the necessary resources, information and support to make informed decisions,” says co-founder, Suzanne Lindley. Patients and their families feel isolated and alone, without the support necessary to help prepare them for the steps ahead. As treatment options for advanced cancers expand, quality of life improves, and the overall survival rate increases; access to information and support is imperative.
Over the summer, Clay Thrash, a rising country singer/songwriter, became involved with YES and was asked to write a song entitled “Gonna BEAT This Thing” and become a spokesperson for YES. He took the four words, the stories of numerous survivors, and his personal family journey with cancer and was able to pen a song that warms the hearts, brings a tear, and inspires many a cancer patient and their family.
With Clay’s song in the background, survivor stories like Melissa’s come to life and bring a concentrated focus to the importance of awareness and support for those affected by advanced cancer. This campaign shares powerful voices of survivors and helps provide light in the darkness of advanced cancer. The stories you will watch, hear, and see offer inspiration, support, and hope. The information you will discover provides resources, direction, and self-empowerment.
Losing 1500 lives every day to a disease that has long been a national priority is unacceptable. With your help, there is hope. The campaign will bring major progress in the fight against advanced cancer with increased access to care, greater availability of resources, and improved breadth of support. Together, we are “Gonna BEAT This Thing!”