The Next Breakout Could Be Yours: Patient Stories
In late 2012, Jesse Hardy found himself in need of emergency surgery for a painful blood clot in his abdomen. During the procedure, the surgeon discovered multiple tumors on Jesse’s liver. More than a year later, Jesse – a husband, father, and grandfather - is participating in a national clinical trial led by the Hollings Cancer Center. He has responded so well to treatment that he recently came out of retirement to work as a mechanic in a new garage.
“The treatment I’ve received through this center – it’s indescribable. It is totally amazing the things that are being done here. With what Hollings is offering patients right now, and what they are doing in research for the future, well, I’m just glad I am a part of it.”
When Katie Maxwell visited her physician with unexplained body pain and abdominal bloating, she suspected the symptoms were related to a recent fall from a horse during competition. However, tests revealed the 42-year-old wife and mother had advanced peritoneal cancer, a “cousin” of ovarian cancer. The diagnosis led the former nurse, wife and mother to the Hollings Cancer Center where she was offered a clinical trial.
“Over the course of treatment, Hollings became a sanctuary for me and my husband. Knowing
everything I do now, I would not be treated anywhere other then a research hospital. I want to
be a place where they are looking for answers.”
John Sanders is a 52-year-old husband and father who has been in treatment for Stage IV lung cancer for more than 5 years. After being on several clinical trials, John continues to lead a full and active life.
"I really can't imagine being anywhere else. The team from the registration area, physicians and infusion nurses all feel like family. They are incredible people who have so much passion for seeing this disease eliminated. Hopefully my results will help others in the future."
When Ann Ramsdell, a mother of two and a biologist at MUSC, was diagnosed with Stage III breast cancer, she could have chosen to be treated anywhere. But Ann chose the Hollings Cancer Center because of its clinical trials program.
Today, Ann is in remission and has switched the focus of her research from heart defects to breast cancer.
"I chose Hollings because I wanted access to the most aggressive and advanced drugs available. I wanted a clinical trial."
View Ann's patient story video
When Bennie Sumpter was diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer, a clinical trial offered the best hope of slowing the spread of the disease. Six weeks later, Bennie's cancer was under control, allowing him to spend time with his grandchildren and return to the golf course.
"With a clinical trial I feel I’m helping myself and helping other people. I feel good about that."
When Charlene Stuart's leukemia returned at the age of 54, physicians said the best option for someone her age was a mini-transplant clinical trial. The stem cell transplant, performed for the first time in South Carolina at Hollings Cancer Center, was a success.
Now, a survivor of more than 10 years, Charlene’s focus is on family.
"I chose a clinical trial, and it has given me precious extra time with my loving husband and grandchildren."
Diagnosed with head and neck cancer, Ed Bostain hoped his treatment would allow him to continue doing what he loved most: firefighting and rescue diving.
Ed's doctors at the Hollings Cancer Center determined he was a candidate for a clinical trial. Today, Ed is back on the job and back in the water.
"I went on a clinical trial and pretty soon my tumor – not my career – was history."