July 2007 – Try Anything Once
Dr. Claudia Cartwright | College Park, MD | Diagnosed at 34 | Survivor since 2005
Michael West | Wilmington, NC | Diagnosed at 27 | Survivor since 1999
Dr. Claudia Cartwright and Michael West chose to take part in clinical trials to get excellent care while helping increase knowledge of new treatments.
Claudia had just given birth, completed her Master’s degree in Public Health and qualified for a foreign service position as a veterinary attaché in the Caribbean. Stage III rectal cancer did not figure into her plans, but that is exactly what Claudia faced. She joined a new clinical trial, and although it will be years until the full results are reported, Claudia believes it was the best treatment decision for her.
After four years in the Navy, Michael went back to college. During a visit to a school nurse his senior year, she noticed he was pale and ran tests that showed anemia and blood in his stool. After more testing, Michael was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer, and his doctor recommended that he enter a clinical trial. Michael decided to participate after realizing that he could get the newest treatments, much of it would be free and he could help other patients. Michael and Claudia both know that research studies come with some risks, but even after careful consideration, sometimes the best decision is to just take the leap.
UPDATE: We lost Claudia Cartwright to a recurrence on September 19, 2008. She passed away peacefully with her family gathered around. You can read more about Claudia’s story on her website.