Check out the latest news about proton therapy: this week, find out how this state-of-the-art treatment is helping people fight their disease all over the world.
Support Dawn’s cancer fighting campaign
Dawn Bailey was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer last year. She is only 43 and has no family history of breast cancer. She needs to raise money to pay for PT treatment.
“At first, it was discouraging,” Dawn said. Until she learned that with modern treatment, it is not exactly a death sentence. She had a mastectomy, and the tumor her doctors removed was about the size of a lemon. Then she went through chemotherapy and let her kids and husband shave her head. “So much was out of my control,” she said. “I wanted to control it.” Her kids had a good time giving her different haircuts.
Her hair is about an inch long now, and it’s time for her radiation treatments. Her doctor at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance recommended that she try proton therapy, which more precisely targets the cancer cells. “With the traditional radiation,” Dawn said, “the area they have to radiate is over my heart.” That can cause scarring in the heart and lead to problems in the long run.
But proton therapy is expensive, and Dawn’s treatment will cost about $50,000. One of her childhood friends decided to take matters into her own hands and started a GoFundMe campaign. The first day it raised $8,000. ” So far, it’s at more than $10,800. They have until Feb. 26 to raise the rest of the $50,000. If they do not make their goal, all the money will be returned to the donors. The campaign can be found at gofundme.com/DawnProton.
Life account : battling more than cancer
Dwight VonFeldt is a 66-year-old olfactory neuroblastoma cancer survivor from Oklahoma City. Here is the story of his battle against cancer and the insurance system.
« My journey with cancer began two years ago. I went in for surgery on a deviated septum but my doctor told me he had to remove a polyp from my nose to test it for cancer. It came back malignant. My doctor recommended to treat the surrounding area to ensure all cancerous cells were destroyed with proton therapy, which could significantly decrease the risk of harm to healthy organs and tissues nearby like my eyes and brain. Due to the rarity of my cancer, my doctor had to petition my insurance company to cover the treatment with letters and research reporting the benefits for my specific cancer. Thankfully my treatment was eventually approved by my insurance. I’m able to live a relatively normal life. However, more and more Oklahomans are experiencing insurance coverage denial for proton therapy radiation, even though it is the best treatment option for their specific cancer and recommended by their doctor. I cannot imagine being a cancer patient whose recommended treatment was denied coverage. Please join us in the battle against inadequate cancer treatment coverage and help make a positive change in the lives of many Oklahomans who deserve to focus on fighting their cancer, not their insurance company. »
Fundraising efforts for boy with cancer
Two-year-old Hayden Daufeldt from Iowa was diagnosed in November with pineblastoma, a malignant tumor of the pineal gland in the brain, after being sick with what doctors thought was a cold or a viral infection.
His parents Cory and Kendra Daufeldt say he is keeping in good spirits. While doctors are confident his surgery successfully removed 95% of his rare form of cancer, Hayden still needs chemotherapy in Iowa City and may undergo proton therapy in Houston, Texas.
“It’s a treatment we’re still looking into,” Cory said. “The University of Iowa doesn’t do it yet. It’s safer for small children with brain tumors.” But time off work and travel costs add up. Two separate groups of friends have set their sights on making the financial ramifications of Hayden’s condition a little easier to bear. They call themselves Hayden’s Heros and have so far raised more than $2,400. “It’s all overwhelming and unexpected,” Cory said.