Wall Of Warriors
This is a wall dedicated
to all those Warriors who are fighting the battle and giving hope to others
by sharing their stories.
Please feel free to send your personal stories with regards to Kidney Cancer, along with a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org as we would love to add it to our "Wall of Warriors"
10 Warriors per page
After being diagnosed last year at the age of 19 with a rare and incurable kidney cancer known as HLRCC, I established Driven to Cure, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to help others.
I was diagnosed at Massachusetts General Hospital on May 12th, 2015 at the end of my freshman year at the University of New Hampshire. I was told that my Stage 4 kidney cancer would not respond to any of the approved cancer treatments available today.
Fortunately, the doctors at Mass General Hospital referred me to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), where researchers have had some success with an experimental treatment program for my type of cancer. I am proud to be Number 42 in the trial treatment program, and thrilled that, thanks to their incredible work, the doctors at NIH are having success prolonging my life. (To learn more about HLRCC click here)
As the dust began to settle from my finding out about the cancer, I remember sitting down with my dad, as the clock was ticking. He stood there and asked a simple question. “Andrew” he said, “what are your life goals?” I thought for a moment with this new lens on life, looked at him, and chuckled “Well I need to own my dream car sometime in my life.” But my dad didn’t take it as a joke.
As I journeyed back to Maryland to begin tests and experimental treatments, my dad began an incredible project to make my goal and dream come true. Three weeks after being diagnosed, I found myself sinking in to the soft leather of my very own brand new Nissan GTR. It was more than a dream come true.
My GTR has proven to be the closest thing I have to a cure for my cancer. Over the past seven months, it has been a tremendous outlet for me. The places I have gone, the people I have met, and the passions I have developed just because of this gift have become the best medicine available. Within days of driving the car off the lot I found myself attending local car shows, answering lots of questions, and creating new friendships with people of all different backgrounds. As folks started talking, my story began spreading and within a month people started knowing who I was and why I had this incredible vehicle. It was clear my situation had a big impact on others and I suddenly found myself experiencing an immense outpouring of love and support. It was then I realized that the vehicle of my dreams was also the vehicle which gave me the opportunity to make a difference; to do something bigger than myself. That is why I am here, writing this story.
I just wanted to give you a little
update of what has been happening with me.
I wouldn't consider myself to be
a "warrior", but my story began in December 2009. It was three
days before Christmas when I first saw the symptoms of what I know now
as Renal Cell Carcinoma. I waited two days before going to the local
ER to see if could flush out what I thought was a very bad kidney or
bladder infection. Needless to say, it didn't flush out, but got somewhat
worse. After running some tests at the ER, I was now being told I had
a very large (12 cm) mass on my right kidney and further tests would
be needed to confirm what they thought was RCC. They were right. At
age 48, my wife and I are battling what we all think happens to other
people. My wife too, has been battling colon cancer since 2007. After
being confirmed as RCC, my life suddenly took a turn to find help. I
landed in Cleveland, OH where I underwent a Radical Nephrectomy on February
1, 2010. The tumor was staged T4 N0 M0, Clear Cell, Grade 3. No further
This is my Mom, Cheryl. She has been a warrior for two years now! Her journey started during the fall of 2007 when she wasn't "feeling right". Five months, countless biopsies, scans and blood tests later, we finally had an answer. Stage IV Renal Cell Carcinoma. It hit us like a ton of bricks and life, as we knew it, was not the same. Over the past two years, we've cried, celebrated, tried to ignore and finally embrace, what has happened to her body. In two short years, Mom has endured three drugs (all targeted therapies), surgery to insert a port, surgery to remove a brain lesion, medications to control cholesterol, blood pressure, thyroid, mood swings, aches, pains ... well you get the idea. This woman is MY HERO and I plan to continue admiring her for many years to come.
Her loving daughter, Erin xxx