There is never a good time to get a cancer
diagnosis - I was 23 year college student working two jobs when I
was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in 2003 and the next seven years
of my life were spent on and off fighting my disease.
At the time of my diagnosis, I had begun
feeling itchy and tired with random night sweats and began losing
weight - however, at no point did I ever feel sick. It wasnít until
I found a lump on the side of my neck that I went to the doctor to
find out I had stage 3B Hodgkin lymphoma. As an active person who
loves being outdoors, it was really difficult to transition to
spending so much time in the hospital.
I underwent a standard chemotherapy regimen
(ABVD) and was cancer-free for two and half years. But my cancer
returned in 2006 and I underwent a number of different therapies,
including a double stem cell transplant and a bone marrow
transplant. No matter what I did, my lymphoma always seemed to come
With no other treatments available to try, my
doctor from the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center recommended I
enroll in clinical trials to give me access to treatments that I
would otherwise not have received. Specifically, in 2010 I was
treated with brentuximab vedotin, the first in a new type of
targeted therapies called antibody-drug conjugates, which are
designed to deliver cell-killing agents directly to cancer cells.
Since participating in the clinical trial that
allowed me access to brentuximab vedotin, Iíve been cancer-free for
5 years and am so happy that Iím able to live my life and spend time
with my son. Iím happy that I chose to participate in the clinical
trial of brentuximab vedotin to help doctors better understand the
drug and it feels great to know that my willingness to participate
in that trial led to the improvement of Hodgkin lymphoma treatment
for others in similar situations.
About section at bottom of story page:
Dan is healthy today and working as a sales consultant. As a
survivor, heís spoken to a number of other patients who have also
failed stem cell transplants and has served as a Campaign Manager
for Team in Training with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Heís
also shared his story in radio interviews with his doctor from Fred
Hutch Cancer Center, and more.