For the past 7 years, I’ve raised money for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help with the research and cure for blood cancers. This year, my cause is closer to home. My dear friend Kathy Barboza was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma. That’s a mouthful so it’s also known as Bile Duct Cancer.
Join us in helping to find a cure for the fastest growing rare cancer in the nation. Help Team Bili make a difference!
On November 14th, 2017, Kathy learned she had cancer while she stood in the toilet paper isle at Target. She had seen a surgeon and after a routine CT scan, they found a 6 cm tumor growing on her gallbladder. His office called to say that Dr. X wasn’t comfortable doing the surgery and she was being referred out to UCSF Oncology. The last year has been a whirlwind. Kathy had surgery at UCSF where she was gutted like a fish. Removing the cancer would give her the best chance since there is no cure or even a treatment that can give patients long term survival.
Bile Duct cancer is a silent cancer. It can go unnoticed until you have real problems. Most of the time the cancer is found so late it has woven itself into the liver and connecting organs and cannot be removed. Most people who contract this cancer have few options. Treatment options are surgery, chemo, radiation and if you are lucky, a trial drug but none offer a cure.
This is why we've decided to team with the Bili Project Foundation: to help continue to raise funds to further tissue research at UCSF for Cholangiocarcinoma. The money raised will fund the Kathy Barboza Young Investigator Award to study targeted therapies for the type of genetic mutation that occurs with the particular tumor type.
The Bili Project Foundation was founded by Sue Acquisto, the wife of Vince Acquisto, and his business partner Joy Stephenson after Vince was diagnosed and later passed from bile duct cancer.