I am running on behalf of my very close friend, Elizabeth Minter. Liz was a amazing, hilarious, caring, and loving friend whose story I want to share.
In the summer of 2010 Elizabeth Minter was 19 years old, between her freshman and sophomore years at Denison University -- and always exhausted, which she attributed to her babysitting job. That fall, when she returned to Denison, she began to experience increased fatigue, now with nausea. When she returned home for the Christmas holiday, she had a complete physical. A CAT scan showed an inoperable brain tumor -- gliomatosis cerebri.
Gliomatosis cerebri is a serious diagnosis, made more so by its rarity. Major funding goes to more common cancers, making it difficult to support critical research into rarely diagnosed ones. Still, each of the diagnoses made each year represents a family struggling against this disease. Each of those families deserves hope, and that was Elizabeth's hope as well: That through research and testing, we will find cures for the incurable.
Elizabeth was supported by an outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and strangers, and she maintained her hope and positivity even as it became clear that the tumor would win the battle. She was treated with Temador, a drug that was approved only a few years earlier for brain cancer, and in conversations with her neurosurgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield, she became confident that as medical research continues there will be more treatment options, and even a cure! She knew it would come too late for her, but she devoted herself to launching Elizabeth’s Hope to provide funding for that research.
Elizabeth and her doctors at the Weill Cornell Pediatric Brain and Spine Center established Elizabeth's Hope as a means of advancing the medical community's knowledge of brain cancer. The fund allows researchers there to pursue genetic approaches to "personalized medicine" -- meaning that tumors can be analyzed, and an individual treatment plan optimized for each patient.
With your help, we can find a cure. We can offer hope to future patients and their families, and create gentler, more effective treatments for GC and other rare and inoperable brain tumors that strike children and young adults. Please consider making a donation today.