The Shanley family began their journey with cancer when Judy, wife and mother, was diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer in May 2009. Judy, Ed and family set about finding the best way to fight this awful disease. They traveled from their home in Wisconsin to Boston, where Judy entered a clinical trial under the direction of Jeffrey Engelman, MD, PhD, at Mass General. Over the next two years, Judy, Ed and their children dedicated themselves to creating the best environment to provide optimal health results for Judy and also promoting the cancer research happening within Dr. Engelman’s lab. They inspired others with their tireless efforts, strength, courage and hope. Friends and family have raised more than $175,000 in honor of Judy to support Dr. Engelman’s research. This has been the inspiration for Be A Piece of the Solution, a not for profit corporation dedicated to ‘Funding the Fight for Lung Cancer Patients’. In addition to raising funds to support lung cancer research for Mass General Cancer Center, it will provide information about ongoing lung cancer research and where the latest treatments can be found.
Heartbreakingly, Judy’s cancer developed a resistance to the targeted therapy drug; Judy passed away on December 15, 2011. While her death leaves a tremendous void within the community of her family and friends, Judy’s spirit will live on in the hearts of everyone she has inspired to carry on her mission of working to make a difference for others fighting cancer.