|1100 people gathered for the Ben Towne Foundation's BENefit 2013 (Image: Bryce Covey Photography)|
Around here, autumn is the time when many charities host fundraisers. Gregg and I are always pleased to attend the Ben Towne Foundation's annual BENefit. We've had the privilege of being an active part of this event from its inception, and watching it grow each year lifts my heart like no other "gala" can.
|Jeff & Carin Towne with Dr. Michael Jensen (Image: Bryce Covey Photography)|
|Reba & Mary-Jane with me|
The news is good, my friends: the first patient in the clinical trial of T-Cell therapy continues to enjoy remission, gained after only 9 days of treatment, with side effects of flu-like symptoms during that time. Her mother was a guest at the BENefit, and spoke to the audience about what our support for this therapy means to her. The next patient is ready to enroll, and it looks as if the clinical trial will soon be expanded to include a much broader range of ages - open for more patients to be treated and cured in this new, non-toxic way!
Did you know that it can cost 10 times more to treat a child with traditional chemotherapy than with T-Cell therapy - and surgery costs even more? The bill for Katie's care was in the neighborhood of a million dollars, for which we were (thank God) covered by medical insurance - but there are many whose finances are completely wiped out by such treatment, and without the promise of a cure!
Think of it this way: you could spend $350,000 for a patient to endure chemo, which can cause secondary cancers, organ damage, susceptibility to infections and reproductive problems - or $30,000 for a patient to have T-Cell therapy, with no long-term damage whatsoever, and continuing immune-system support for remission. Which would you choose for your child - or for yourself? What would you like to see become the "norm?"
On this day - the very one on which Katie was admitted into the hospital in 2006 - people such as Katie, Carin and Jeff Towne, Dr. Jensen and Dr. Gardner inspire me. Who (or what) inspires you to give?