Charity’s Story

Site created on May 15, 2018

Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Don Sparkman

Last Friday afternoon we met with Charity's oncologist at Mayo Clinic to discuss the possibility of her participating in a clinical trial for pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, due to a heart condition associated with the ICD defibrillator, which she had implanted back in 2011 to prevent atrial fibrillation, she did qualify for any of the phase 1 trials they currently have. Phase 1 trials test the efficacy of a new drug. They require that candidates have a heart ejection fraction rate of 50% or greater and her rate is currently 34%.

Pancreatic Cancer research is far behind that of many other cancers. Nationwide the overwhelming clinical research being conducted is only in the early phase 1 stage of 4 stages to obtain FDA approval for standard treatment. Her Oncologist suggested that we contact a cancer center in Tampa where they have a Phase 2 trial to see if Charity would qualify to participate in that trial. I left them a message and I'm waiting to hear back from them. I am also looking for other clinical trials in other locations. Based on most of the stringent and complicated qualification requirements for clinical trials, it doesn't look very promising. They essentially want people who don't have medical issues that might prevent them from getting their drug approved.

To say the least, our appointment last Friday left us disappointed and very sad. We really felt that we were being told we've done all we can do, we will help with symptom management as the disease progresses but basically, you are now on your own. We will keep pushing forward, taking one day at a time and making the very most of it. 

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