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cancer milestone

Mike Rubin




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Celebrating the gift of a lifetime - 30 years since my bone marrow transplant!

This fundraising page is a celebration of how far I’ve come on this journey - over 30 years! I was diagnosed while a student at Vassar College and had an unclear diagnosis for over four years. From New York, I was told that when I needed a bone marrow transplant, I should go to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. I said "the Fred Whatichison?!?!". It was the Hutch who pioneered BMT and while the few other transplant centers had a few or several beds, the Hutch had 60! This New Yorker wanted the best, so when I needed treatment, off I went to Seattle with my mother, father and two sisters in full support mode.

I’m here today because of cancer research and improved treatments. I can look back and see the progress. Did you know that when I was treated, I spent 35 days in the hospital? Today fully half of all transplants are done on an outpatient basis! That's progress!. But more impressive still, is that just like the Hutch 40 years ago opened the first bone marrow transplant clinic, just a few months ago they opened the first ever Car T cell immunotherapy clinic. This is going to be an enormous game changer! Imagaine remission without chemo and getting back to work and life in a matter of weeks instead of months, years or never! Cancer diagnosis and treatment won't cause the kind of PTSD that I and so many like me have had to accept as fallout from our treatment. There is no better way to celebrate my 30 years than by improving the lives of other patients and survivors.

I’m a Curestarter for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center because Fred Hutch scientists are world leaders in revolutionizing the way we prevent, detect, and treat cancer and related diseases. To put it simply, their research saves lives like mine.

Did you know ...

The bone marrow transplant, developed by Dr. E. Donnall Thomas at Fred Hutch, earned him a Nobel Prize and provided the first example of the human immune system’s power to cure cancer. More than 1 million people have received this lifesaving procedure.

Today, Drs. Phil Greenberg and Stanley Riddell continue Dr. Thomas’ legacy, leading the way in the game-changing field of immunotherapy. In fact, they are perfecting an approach that could render chemotherapy and radiation obsolete, making cancer treatment for patients much less grueling and toxic.

Dr. Denise Galloway helped develop the vaccine that prevents human papillomavirus, or HPV, infection, which can cause cervical cancer.

Dr. Jim Olson developed “Tumor Paint”, an experimental molecule derived from scorpion venom that illuminates cancer cells so surgeons can see tumor margins more clearly. This means surgeons can zero in on the cancer, eliminating all of it, without affecting healthy tissue.

Dr. Gary Gilliland, president and director of Fred Hutch, has a bold vision. He believes Hutch scientists can find curative therapies for many, if not all, cancers within the next 10 years. They just need the funding to do it.

Let’s make it possible for more people to move beyond cancer and live life to the fullest — meaning more happy milestones and many more reasons to celebrate. Please donate today.