When Dana’s cancer returned last October, we reported her participation in a clinical trial for a desmoid cancer drug and that science is literally saving her life. The medication, developed by Pfizer, has had such success in shrinking the tumor that Dana’s goal of running again came true this September when she competed in a 5K on her brand new running blade—running the whole five kilometers. Each race inches Dana closer to her ultimate goal of completing a marathon and inspiring others to reach their own dreams. After getting wind of Dana’s treatment results and her work with the Pounding the Pavement initiative, Pfizer invited her to speak at their End of Year Town Hall meeting at the Oncology and Biomedical Research Division in La Jolla, CA.
This conference includes more than 800 scientists and stakeholders who will hear Dana’s inspirational tale of fighting first for survival and then striving for her dreams in the face of such devastating changes as the loss of her leg and the death of both of parents, a tale made possible by the effect of the experimental desmoid-fighting drug. “This is an incredible opportunity! I am so excited,” says Dana. “And, La Jolla is near and dear to my heart. My mom’s older sister lives there, so it is a special place. Plus, I practically grew up going to Sea World San Diego and the zoo, two places that fostered my love of nature and animals.”
Dana speaks on December 3rd—her mom’s birthday. “It’s a special place to present, and a special day,” says Dana. “We are so proud to be able to go back to such a meaningful place on my mom’s birthday and talk about the positive impacts of science.”