BENEFITING: No Stomach For Cancer
EVENT DATE: Nov 03, 2012
We're going to keep fighting! (Scar-Szek sounds way tougher and bad ass than the "Scardina-Domaszek family.")
On January 26, I lost my mom to diffuse-type gastric cancer. Thankfully, it was not the hereditary form, known as HDGC. What happened to my mom and my family was a tragedy--and unfortunately I believe, a preventable one, had the US medical community been more knowledgeable about the signs and symptoms of stomach cancer.
In May 2010, she began experiencing the following symptoms of stomach cancer--inability to eat or drink, reflux, nausea, and vomiting. She immediately sought medical attention. Her family doctor did not know what was wrong with her, and so he referred her to a local cancer clinic to have a specialist look at her medical situation. The "specialist" insisted there was nothing wrong with her, and that her symptoms were psychological and due to stress. He asked her to set up an appointment in 90 days if her symptoms did not improve. My mom subsequently visited this specialist three more times before he finally figured out in February 2011 that she had cancer. He diagnosed her with Stage 1diffuse-type stomach cancer.
My mother decided to go to South Korea for treatment for two reasons. The first is the significantly higher 5 year survival rate in Korea versus the United States. The second is that we happen to have a friend who works with Dr. Young-Jae Mok of Korea University College of Medicine, and he is a well-renowed stomach cancer specialist. We were able to meet him the first week of March 2011, at which time he reviewed my mother's CAT scans and tests from the US, and correctly determined that my mother was already at Stage 4, and not at Stage 1. The following week, Dr. Mok attempted a resection, and the resection failed because the cancer had spread all over her abdomen. Dr. Mok felt so badly that the US doctors had screwed over my mother, he really went above and beyond in my mother's care.
Stomach cancer is virtually ignored in the US. The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society do not fund stomach cancer research, even though it is the second deadliest cancer in the world.
But we're trying to turn that around. No Stomach For Cancer is kicking off November Stomach Cancer Awareness Month® with our 1st Annual No Stomach For Cancer® Walk, as we work “to support research and unite the caring power of people worldwide affected by stomach cancer.”
It would be fantastic if you could join me and my family at the walk on November 3rd. Your registration fee pays for a very nice periwinkle t-shirt and funding for No Stomach for Cancer. If you can't walk with us, please consider donating through this fundraising page