Gratitude for cancer research

It isn't often, as a cancer survivor, that I get to thank those who are working behind the scenes to extend my life and to someday discover a cure for cancer. I had that great opportunity today, thanks to Ellen Stovall and National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship. It was a wonderful privilege and rare treat to sit before a room full of Pfizer researchers and scientists who have dedicated their time and lives to advancing personalized medicine in cancer care.I shared my story and the ever-present knowledge that without research I would not be alive. I talked about the fact that only one treatment had existed for colon cancer 14 years ago and how the myriad of new treatments have given me, and others like me, very precious time. I discussed clinical trials and the importance of those trials and the options--and hope--that they provide. With pictures of my children, family, friends and adventures projected on the screen I showed the milestones that research has allowed me to experience.The simple things with family; like picnics under the old oak tree, camping trips and butterfly hunts have been celebrated because of research. Climbing the steps of Capitol Hill and walking the halls of Congress have met with satisfaction that I am doing as much as possible to ensure further research continuesI locked eyes with those in the audience and afterwards several came over to thank me! Some spoke of their own battles with cancer, their loved ones' journeys with the disease, and their own hopes for the future of cancer. I left with renewed gratitude and optimism. These brilliant minds are working hard to change the negative to positive, from probability to possibility, and from dying to surviving. To all those that work hard behind the scenes, thank you!