The COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for all of us, and for cancer patients and survivors like me, the worries are multiplied. This is an uncommon time we’re living through, but those of us in the chordoma community know a little something about dealing with uncommon experiences. We’ve faced unknowns, asked questions without answers, and wondered if things are going to be okay.
Until chordoma came into my life eleven years ago, I’d always felt pretty lucky. My wife Shari and I were celebrating our 32nd wedding anniversary; we both had successful, fulfilling careers that we loved; and we’d just sent our youngest son off to college.
When we heard the word chordoma for the first time, our world blew up. Every goal, every dream, and every hope we’d ever had quickly boiled down to one, inescapable question:
“Will I ever get to be a grandfather?”
More than a decade later, thanks to excellent care from a team of chordoma specialists and the support and guidance of the Chordoma Foundation, that answer is a resounding yes.
Shari and I have been blessed to see both of our sons get married, and to experience the immeasurable joy of welcoming three beautiful grandchildren into the world.
It’s been a long, difficult journey with plenty of ups and downs, but as I celebrate more than a decade of survivorship, I still feel lucky.
I am in awe of the progress our community has made in such a short period of time, and it makes me deeply hopeful about the future.
That’s why I’m proud to support the Chordoma Foundation – as a donor, as a Board member for many years, and now as chair of the ALL IN campaign, which seeks to raise the $16 million needed to deliver to chordoma patients the first effective treatments in our lifetime.
Thanks to an outpouring of support prior to the pandemic, we have raised more than $13 million toward this goal, but we need your help to bridge the gap.
There’s so much at stake in the next five years, and the 2020 Priorities flier offers a great snapshot of the progress this campaign is enabling.
Join us in going ALL IN for chordoma!
What excites me the most is the fact that we now have:
A real possibility of developing the first curative therapies for chordoma by striking at its Achilles’ heel, a protein called brachyury. With adequate investment, drugs targeting brachyury could reach clinical trials within the next 4-5 years.
The chance to find better treatments soon by identifying existing drugs that can slow or shrink chordoma tumors. Already a number of existing drugs have shown promise against chordoma in the lab, six of which are now being tested in chordoma clinical trials, with more ready to enter clinical trials in the next two years.
The potential to have an impact beyond chordoma by targeting brachyury, which drives progression and metastasis of other cancers, including breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancer.
COVID-19 has impacted so many aspects of our lives, but it hasn’t stopped chordoma, and it won’t stop our efforts to improve lives and find a cure.
As the pandemic persists, the mission of the Chordoma Foundation remains constant: to serve as a resource for everyone affected by chordoma and to advance the search for better treatments. Through these challenging times, their team has continued providing vital assistance to patients across the world while making encouraging scientific strides.
Shari and I know how crucial it is to keep up this work so that all patients get the best care possible and have a real reason to hope for a better future.
We all have a role to play, and it’s a role my family and I take to heart. We’ve been so impressed by how this community has come together to make progress that is unheard of for a cancer this rare, and we’ve been proud to support the Foundation for many years alongside thousands of others in this community.
I hope you will join us in going ALL IN for chordoma by making a gift of whatever you can contribute in these challenging times.
Shari and I have gone ALL IN because we see a real chance of permanently changing the course of this disease. And we know that the tomorrows that will be gained as a result — for everyone affected by chordoma — are the most precious gift of all.
Chair, ALL IN campaign
P.S. To learn more about the ALL IN campaign or make a donation, visit chordoma.org/allin.