Researcher and advocate; what do you have to lose?

Aloha fellow Caregivers,

I apologize for my absence from posting these past few months.  As we Caregivers know, it is a strategic balancing act to continue to support our loved ones through the daily routines so critical for healing, while continuing to meet the demand of our own careers and lives.

As an educator, these past few months (February to May) have been extremely busy for me, which has consumed my time from blogging.  I coordinate teacher education programs at Leeward Community College on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. With preparing for a national accreditation visit, teaching multiple classes and attending to administrative duties, I have found little time to attend to what is very important to me….. creating a support system for fellow Caregivers.

As a teacher for over 30 years at the elementary school level, as well as at the College level, I have found that I wear similar hats in my career as I wear as a Caregiver; I am a teacher; cheerleader; advocate; researcher and nurturer, always with positive thoughts and a “Can Do” attitude as I work to make a difference in this world.  My mantra of, “The good news is” permeates my everyday life and provides strength for me as I face obstacles and challenges.

As a Caregiver and advocate for my husband, I refused to accept the words, “there is no treatment” when we were initially given the news of his diagnosis. As I shared in my last post, I spent hours wearing my “researcher hat” and was driven to find a positive outcome which would lead us to a clinical trial.  I remained confident that my dream of finding a solution would come true….one Saturday morning in 2013, my dream came true!!!

I found a clinical trial at Stanford University Medical Center specifically for Mantle Cell Lymphoma. After reading the summary of the trial and the qualifications for being accepted,  I knew that Larry was a perfect candidate.  I immediately sent an email to the clinical trial coordinator, writing from my heart to describe my husband.  Mid afternoon I received an email back from Stanford telling me that Larry met the criteria for admission to the trial with more detailed information as to the next steps to follow.

I know that the thought of your loved one entering a clinical trial can be frightening, however, our belief was what did we have to lose? We believed that a clinical trial would provide the latest treatment protocols and the most up to date research for his disease.  Not only will the vaccine trial and bone marrow transplant provide healing for Larry’s disease, but also provide hope for generations to come.

I encourage you to share your reflections and stories as we continue our conversation as Caregivers and advocates for a fulfilled life.  I look forward to hearing from you on Caregiver’s Corner!








As I shared in my last post, I wear many hats, my priority is Caregiver, however, in my career as an educator, I find myself wearing the same hats, caregiver, advocate, researcher and cheerleader.

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