Medical Research

New Lung Cancer Treatments Give Brandi Hope

A persistent cough told Brandi that it was time to visit her primary care physician. Several tests and doctor visits later, Brandi got her diagnosis: Stage 3B ALK+ lung cancer. At the time, Brandi was a 38-year-old mother of four, working as a contractor for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). She has never smoked. But, she said, “I had no clue - None! - that non-smokers could get lung cancer! I had breast cancer on my radar!” The truth is that lung cancer surpassed breast cancer as the leading cancer killer among women in 1987.

How A Brother's Love Could Change Thousands of Lives Impacted by Rare Disease

From the moment of my brother, Terry’s, diagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, time was ticking away for my brother. For Terry, “sick" didn’t mean a runny nose, antibiotics, or missing school here and there. It meant walking into a movie theater only to get stuck at the steps leading to our seats because his progressive disease overcame his ability to lift his leg. Even 15 years later, the panicked look that washed across both my father and brother’s faces that day is something I will never forget.

Raising funds for Meniere's disease research, one half-marathon at a time

I started experiencing Meniere's symptom in 1999 when I was 39 years old. It began with ringing in the ears, now known to me as tinnitus. I developed hearing loss in my right ear and over many years, I had mild to severe episodes of dizziness, leaving me debilitated for hours at a time. It often made my work as a physical therapist difficult. Fast forward to 2022, my dizzy spells are few and far between. My hearing loss seems to have leveled off but I do wear hearing aids (which has been life changing).

A new chapter, and model, for biomedical research.

I had been doing cancer and immunology research for several years before my late wife was diagnosed with an aggressive, rare, and drug-resistant form of breast cancer. The experience of care-taker and widowed father suddenly became my identity, even more so than scientist and doctor. I quickly realized that the way we do research- prodding along in the laboratory to make incremental progress- had to change. We need a system where exciting basic discoveries can be rapidly transitioned to help patients.