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Cancer Heroes Among Us: Cheryl Stratos

Cheryl Stratos and her family

At age 45, Virginia resident Cheryl Stratos suddenly felt numb from head to toe.

The initial diagnosis was multiple sclerosis, then it was carcinoma in her lungs and liver. Eventually, Cheryl learned she had untreatable stage 4 metastatic melanoma and was given a prognosis of 6-8 months.

Cheryl knew the odds were against her and decided to research clinical trials. After several false leads, she found a new, one-of-its kind trial underway at the JCCC. It had the potential to double her survival time.

Cheryl traveled across the country to participate in this pioneering clinical trial led by the JCCC's Antoni Ribas, M.D., testing a therapy that targets the specific mutation found in Cheryl's melanoma cells. (Dr. Ribas shares details about JCCC melanoma research and clinical trials in this video.)

Today, Cheryl is alive. In fact, she’s been in the clinical trial for 34 months. The new drug has not only stopped her cancer from growing, but reduced it considerably.

Cheryl is hopeful about the future. "I believe we are close to finding the solution to this disease. The goal is to hang in there until that cure comes along," she said.

You can deliver hope to Cheryl and many more heroes awaiting a cure or treatment that can extend their lives. Please make a gift today to support JCCC research. Patients like Cheryl are counting on you.

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Last updated: 5/31/2013 11:32:05 AM