When you have a rare cancer, and you realize that research is limited, the frustration can be incredible. For one patient, this frustration fueled sheer determination.
Diane Redington was diagnosed with a malignant mixed Mullerian tumor, or what is referred to as GYN carcinosarcoma (GCS), in April 2015. She made the decision to explore options for clinical trials, and now travels from Park City, Utah to receive treatment in the Mass General Center for Women’s Cancers.
Diane’s diagnosis is extremely rare. And because of the lack of research funding for this disease, the prognosis is typically poor. So she asked her doctor, Michael Birrer, MD, PhD, how to increase the amount of research being done on GCS. His frank and simple answer was that philanthropy is often what allows researchers to pursue high-risk, high-reward endeavors in their laboratories. That’s all Diane needed to hear.
In June 2016, Diane launched The GCS Project with the goal of raising $300,000 to support GCS research at the Mass General Cancer Center. In just a few months, Diane helped raise $275,000 of that goal. The money will help Dr. Birrer’s research team study the molecular characterization of GCS tumors and ideally open new avenues in research and treatment for this disease.
Diane also launched a website for The GCS Project, which now serves as the only source of information for other women confronted with the same diagnosis. She has provided education, support and comfort to many patients – invaluable resources for those with a rare diagnosis.