It was the best of times and the worst of times for Abi Ford: Her first grandson had just been born and within months of her newfound joy, Abi received a diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer. Life expectancy? Less than one year.
“I felt utterly lost,” says Abi. “I realized I might not survive to see my new grandchild get on the school bus.” Abi’s resolve to live on and live well was steeled, and she sought the best lung cancer treatment in the country.
Fortunately it was at Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center
Penn physicians offered Abi an innovative clinical trial through its world-renowned translational research program. Abi says, “This was a Penn-developed clinical trial that I could not get anywhere else. It involved treatment for a certain genetic mutation found in lung cancer patients and thankfully, I was a candidate.”
Innovative, Penn-driven clinical research
“Life reeled out of control with my cancer diagnosis. By joining a research study, I gained back some control. I was doing something positive to save my life and I was in the best possible clinical hands,” explains Abi.
“I was Abi first. Cancer second”
“At Abramson Cancer Center, everyone wanted to know about me, Abi — the person. They know I have children and grandchildren. They encouraged me to live life to the fullest while participating in the trial.”
Seven years and four grandchildren later
Abi’s doctor has discussed the possibility that her current clinical trial may no longer be keeping her lung cancer in remission, but there is plenty of hope. Because Penn is a vibrant research nexus, her physician has two new clinical trials waiting wings for Abi.
Abi says, “Most days I wake up and feel so good, I can’t believe I have cancer.
As odd as it sounds, cancer has added things to my life, not subtracted. As a child I rode horses, and just recently started to ride again. I take my meds and go off to the barn.”
“I have a real future thanks to Penn. And with life, comes hope.”