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Celebrating Moms Made Possible

May 08, 2014 | Hannah Belisle

Sitting at my desk wondering how to start my Mother’s Day-themed blog post (due yesterday), I erase and re-type a few things that come to mind. "This Mother’s Day, give the leading lady in your life…" "As Mother’s Day fast approaches…" "Not sure what to do for your mom this Mother’s Day? Give a gift that keeps on giving…"

I look around for inspiration. The bulletin board above my desk is home to an eclectic mix of things that inspire me—an 8"x11" picture of my grandpa, a picture of me and my fiancé cutting a rug at a wedding the night we met, some of the colorful postcards I’ve sent to our supporters over the past year, a crumpled scrap of paper with a little seahorse on it that my brother drew (an inside joke between us), a diagram of the monoclonal antibodies anti-PD-1 and anti-CTLA-4 (yes, really).

I fixate on the postcards, one of whose headlines reads: MOM MADE POSSIBLE. A beaming Sharon Belvin clutches two adorable children who clearly belong to her. The overlaid text tells the story of a then-24-year-old Sharon whose diagnosis in 2004 with advanced, metastatic melanoma left her with a grim prognosis. Today, ten years after that terrible day she learned she had cancer, she remains cancer free thanks to the immunotherapy clinical trial that saved her life. A new mom made possible, thanks to immunotherapy.

The magazine ad I helped put together last fall hangs just below Sharon’s picture. Dr. Corrie Painter, an immunology researcher and cancer survivor, sits on a porch with her two tow-headed daughters. Their bond is palpable. A mom working to make other moms possible.

My mind meanders to the story of Christine Sable. A mother of two, Christine overcame ovarian cancer while enrolled in a clinical trial of an immunotherapy treatment. She will now have the opportunity to watch her children’s lives unfold: high school dances, college graduations, weddings, grandchildren. A mom restored, thanks to immunotherapy.

This Mother’s Day, join the Cancer Research Institute in celebrating what cancer immunotherapy has made possible—the new moms, the scientists, the moms restored—and all who are to come. Text “JOIN” to 80888 to make a $10 contribution to the Cancer Research Institute*. Your donation will support groundbreaking research that is changing the course of cancer and revolutionizing treatment today.

* Carriers: AT&T Mobility, Cricket Communications, Metro PCS, Sprint PCS, T-Mobile USA, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless. Standard text messaging rates apply. Terms and conditions:

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