A New LIVESTRONG Partnership: My Chance to Give Back

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cl1–   By David Fuehrer, Two-Time Testicular Cancer Survivor

Through good times and agonizing ones, cancer has been a part of my life for the past 12 years.  In fact, I consider everything before 2002 as my life B.C. (Before Cancer).

I am a two-time testicular cancer survivor.

One of the first things I did after being diagnosed was turn to LIVESTRONG for support.  They helped me transform from cancer patient, to survivor, to “thriver”.  I am a stronger person because of them.

Now I have the chance to give back to LIVESTRONG and help others in their fight against cancer.

CureLauncher, the company I helped create, is starting a new partnership with LIVESTRONG.  Together, we help people with cancer find and understand all of their new treatment options.

Most people have heard about clinical trials, but don’t see how they relate to them.  I didn’t either, until it affected my family.

In June 2012, we lost my father to bladder cancer.  Nobody suggested we consider another option until after the standard treatment stopped working.  By then he was too sick to qualify for a clinical trial.  Would a trial have helped him?  There’s no way to know, but it’s an option we should have considered.  One month later, I met Stephen Goldner.

Steve is an FDA Regulatory Advisor and has gotten 230 drugs and medical devices approved.  He told me, “We need a better way to help people find new treatments that may help them.” I left my career to create CureLauncher with him.

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Our mission is that no family will ever lose a loved one without knowing all their treatment options.  CureLauncher matches each person to new cancer treatments in clinical trials so they can make an informed decision.

But clinical trials?!   Won’t I be a guinea pig?  How can I trust the new treatment?

There are 4,000 clinical trials to treat cancer in the U.S.  Some of them already have FDA approval.  Many of them are at top hospitals, including: MD Anderson, Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins.   But the truth is every one of them is completely unique.   CureLauncher provides you with specific information about each one so you can decide if you are interested.

CureLauncher is a free resource for patients, caregivers and health care professionals.

We talk to people on the phone to understand exactly what they’re dealing with so that we can help connect them to the medical team running the trial.

Our Relationship Managers are dedicated to helping people, at any stage of cancer, find new treatments.

I recently read a blog by fellow cancer survivor and LIVESTRONG Deputy Director, Chris Brewer.  Chris wrote, “For me, this discussion gets right down to the very heart of what it means to have cancer. It’s your disease, and your choice in how you will experience it […].  Here at the LIVESTRONG Foundation, even we use phrases like, ‘Fight like hell,’ and ‘Unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything.’ And while hopefully inspirational, the reality of the situation is that the choices we must make can range from a number of treatment options including clinical trials, complementary alternative medicine and palliative care.”

Well said, Chris.  I whole-heartedly agree.  After going through cancer twice and being next to my father during his battle, I believe it is each family’s choice how they face cancer.  And I’m honored now that LIVESTRONG has partnered with CureLauncher so that anyone who wants to learn about clinical trials can take control and know their options.

To learn more, visit http://lvstr.ng/CureLauncher or please call the LIVESTRONG Navigation Center at 1-855-220-777.

 

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