Kathy was all about being a part of people’s lives and dedicating a large part of her time to helping others. And, that is a mission of The Kathy Ivins Fund.
MELANOMA: KATHY’S STORY – CAN WE HELP YOU?
Kathy died from melanoma – a really difficult and complex disease. It was diagnosed in 2007 from the removal of a mole Kathy had had her entire life. After ongoing a sentinal node biopsy in the region of her left underarm where the mole was removed, it was determined that melanoma had entered a single lymph node. For precaution, the remaining lymph nodes were removed in that arm.
In 2008, Kathy participated in a clinical trial at the University of Virginia. Throughout 2008, Kathy had no complications and no recurrences – and ran the Marine Corps Marathon in the Fall in Washington, D.C.
In 2009, she had two incidents, leading to the surgical removal of a cyst (later determined to be melanoma) in the region of her stomach and a single lymph node (also determined to be melanoma) in her left lung region (removed laproscopically). By July, 2009, after being fully scanned, it was determined she was again NED (“no evidence of disease”), and she trained throughout the summer/Fall for the 2009 Richmond Marathon.
On November 6, 2009, Kathy had a brain MRI as a test needed as a precondition to another clinical trial she was considering. Sadly, it was on that day we learned that between July and November, seven brain tumors (all melanoma) had emerged. Over the next eight months, we sought help through clinical trials, we consulted with four different cancer centers throughout the United States, and because of the neurological focus of Kathy’s cancer, Kathy had multiple Gamma Knife and crainiotomy-type surgeries.
As Kathy’s primary caregiver, Kathy’s husband, John, did all of the research and was heavily involved in the day-to-day assessment of next steps, while also handling all of the day-to-day health issues Kathy experienced. As such, we have a wealth of experience relating to treatment, options, people who can help, things we learned. And, we are happy to talk with anyone who finds themselves in a situation like ours.
John is not a doctor or licensed counselor and, hence, would never offer any such advice. But, sometimes hearing what someone else has done in these types of situations can help. So, we want to help. Contact us if we can assist you.
The Fund is looking for organizations which share the same passions and goals of The Kathy Ivins Fund. If you know of one we should check out or if you are looking for financial support for your organization or for an event your organization is putting on, contact us. Perhaps we can work together.