Living with Stage Four Breast Cancer is difficult. It is especially difficult as a young mother. I know this first hand as I was diagnosed with Metastatic "incurable" breast cancer out the gate at 33 years old with two young children.
For me and so many other women with the diagnosis, the only way to move forward in life is to believe that this disease will be behind us one day. I believe the end of cancer is not going to simply come from a pharmaceutical cure. I believe that the end of breast cancer is going to come with the fundamental understanding of why the systemic underlying metabolic functions have gone so off course and what lifestyle choices we can make for prevention. To try and put into words what my oncologist Dr. John K. Erban at Tufts Medical Center has meant to me over the years is not an easy task. He is quite simply the most extraordinary physician I've ever come across. I have been through a few situations with Dr. Erban where the disease acted up almost over night and left me in life threatening situations. He somehow remains steadfastly calm, presents a very clear-cut path to follow and always makes me feel like I can get through whatever is gong on. And... I do! He knows people in my situation need hope, and while he doesn't make any official guarantees; he always tells you what is possible, is never negative and has a way of thinking through every detail, analyzing all data points and never makes a hasty decision. I feel so safe and secure in his hands. I believe he wants my survival just as badly as I do and I know it's the same for all his patients.
In additional to his work as clinical director at Tufts, he also remains passionately committed to finding an end for this disease. Committed to Environmental Health Research, he has been on the board of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring for 20 years. He is also very interested in nutritional research and other topics of real significant relevance that many other oncologists have no interest in.
He also oversees the Tufts Medical Center Breast Cancer Research Fund and runs research studies both within the hospital and also by supporting start up labs that show great promise. One of the things I find most impressive about Dr. Erban is his shrewd judgement calls and openness to anything that is helping his patient. I know that he approaches the dispersement of funds in his research foundation with the same judgement and openness that he uses with his patients. I truly believe that if there is research that could bring us closer to the end of this disease it would be under the guidance of Dr. Erban. For those of you that know me, you know that this trust does not come easily (I Interviewed over 10 oncologists before finally landing with him) and I truly cannot put into words just how much I believe that he is in a league of his own.
I ask you if you could please help me support his research efforts that are so badly needed to eradicate this disease. All the funds raised here will be donated directly to the Tufts Medical Center Breast Cancer Research Fund c/o Dr. John Erban. All of these funds will be used directly for research, no brick or mortar or facility upgrades. Dr. Erban will use the funds to go directly to causes that will be most impactful to patients. I have been told I can have a say in where the funds are allocated. I will most likely divert to him as he is far more knowledgeable than I am; however, I have expressed the desire for research for prevention overall, and a focus on hormonal cancers specifically related to environmental concerns and endocrine disrupters.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support for myself and all the other women fighting this wretched disease.
With love and thanks,
It is with profound sadness we share that our beloved Jennifer lost her fight against Cancer on June 28, 2018.
In her spirit we continue to work with Dr. Erban and the Tufts Medical Center Breast Cancer Research Fund to support their research efforts through this Fundraiser.
Thank you for your generosity and support.
The Bjercke Family