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July 02, 2017
BENEFITING: Sarcoma Foundation of America
Late in the summer of 2012, we were told that my mom had advanced metastatic sarcoma. My mom had always been lucky to have really good health, so this was quite unexpected.
She went through very intesnse chemo treatments, radiation and trial drugs. I went with her when she had her head shaved and was fitted for a wig. I remember having a hard time telling her which one I liked best because she looked beautiful in each one she tried on. She handled losing her hair with grace and embraced her new 'hair-do.'
Sarcoma is not a well-known cancer and thus, is not as well-funded for treatment research. For us, though, we now know it well. Treatment research and new innovations are what kept us going.
My mom lost her battle in October of 2013. We miss her every single day and continue to fight for others so they don't lose their loved ones.
If you are able, I hope you will consider donating to the Sarcoma Foundation of America through my fundraiser.
What is Sarcoma?
Sarcoma is made up of many “subtypes” because it can arise from a variety of tissue structures (nerves, muscles, joints, bone, fat, blood vessels - collectively referred to as the body’s “connective tissues”). Because these tissues are found everywhere on the body, Sarcomas can arise anywhere. Thus, within each site of the more “common” cancers there is the occasional surprise sarcoma diagnosis (e.g., breast sarcoma, stomach sarcoma, lung sarcoma, ovarian sarcoma, etc.)
The most frequent location are the limbs since this is where the majority of the body’s connective tissue resides. They are commonly hidden deep in the body, so sarcoma is often diagnosed when it has already become too large to expect a hope of being cured. Although a lot of the lumps and bumps we get are benign, people should have them looked at by a doctor at an early stage in case it is sarcoma.
Sarcoma is sometimes curable by surgery (about 20% of the time), or by surgery with chemotherapy and/or radiation (another 30%), but about half the time they are totally resistant to all of these approaches—thus the extreme need for new therapeutic approaches.
It is a rare cancer in adults (1% of all adult cancers), but rather prevalent in children (about 15% of all childhood cancers). At any one time, about 50,000 patients and their families are struggling with sarcoma. Approximately 14,000 new cases are diagnosed each year nearly 6,000 people die each year from sarcoma.
Who is the Sarcoma Foundation of America?
The mission of the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) is to advocate for sarcoma patients by funding research and by increasing awareness about the disease. The organization raises money to privately fund grants for sarcoma researchers and conducts education and advocacy efforts on behalf of sarcoma patients.