Donors’ support has given David more tomorrows with his loved ones.
Thanks to ongoing donor support, CancerCare Manitoba’s patients are able to participate in donor-funded clinical trials.
These trials provide some of the latest treatment options that wouldn’t otherwise be available. Manitobans like David are benefitting from this tremendous generosity.
David has been living with prostate cancer since 2009.
While his journey has included a variety of different treatments, it was his recent involvement in a clinical trial that has given him more years with his wife, children and young grandchildren when there were no remaining treatment options available.
Learning about the history of prostate cancer in his family led David to be proactive with his own health. His father passed away from the disease at the age of 67, a time when treatment options were very limited. Today, decades later, David is grateful that thanks to the kindness of donors, clinical trials are available to give him the best opportunity for more tomorrows with the people he loves.
“It wasn’t until many years after my father’s death that I learned he had passed away from advanced prostate cancer. I understood the risks and began seeing a urologist every year. I knew there was a high probability that I would one day be diagnosed with the same disease.”
That diagnosis came in 2009 after which he underwent surgery to have his prostate removed. While David and his medical team were hopeful the surgery would cure his cancer, nine months later tests showed that wasn’t the case.
This was just the beginning of his journey.Over the next ten years David had radiation, hormone blocking medications and a variety of other treatments. They all worked for a while. But eventually, he ran out of options. That’s when he was referred to Dr. Joel Gingerich, director of the Clinical Trials Unit at CancerCare Manitoba.
“I was very happy to learn about the clinical trial at a time when my wife and I were feeling quite hopeless,” said David.
The large international study was looking at a new class of drugs. Drugs that inhibit the growth of cancer cells specific to prostate cancer. Fortunately for David, tests confirmed he had the right tumour markers to qualify for this donor-funded trial.
David was on the clinical trial for four years, during which he lived his life to the fullest. He retired and his two grandchildren were born. With almost no side effects, he felt like every day was normal.
“Those years wouldn’t have been there otherwise. They were four good years that were well-lived. I’m so grateful.”Today, David continues with additional treatments to control his prostate cancer and is grateful this hasn’t stopped him from enjoying life. He spends a lot of time with family, celebrating every special occasion together.
Thanks to your investment into clinical trials, CancerCare Manitoba has changed the way they approach treatment plans for Manitobans with prostate cancer. Now, patients are screened shortly after diagnosis to determine if they’re eligible to receive a similar medication.