On September 1, 2011, my husband, Phil Baumann was diagnosed with brain cancer, specifically glioblastoma multiforme, grade IV. We were devastated. We have an 11-year-old son, Colby, who needs his dad. We desperately wanted a cure, so we put our faith in God and MD Anderson.
Undergoing a clinical trial for glioblastoma treatment
Phil underwent a brain surgery to remove the tumor, but six months after the second one, in 2012, doctors found another brain tumor.
We opted not to have another surgery and instead took our chances with a different route for glioblastoma treatment -- a clinical trial that uses a virus called Delta-24-RGD. The virus spreads through the tumors until there is no cancer cells left. Delta-24-RGD is engineered to force tumor cells to devour themselves.
With standard chemotherapy and radiation treatment, Phil was given 14 months to live, but thanks to the Delta-24 RGD trial, he is now in his 33rd month of surviving this deadly disease. We believe he wouldn't be here today if it weren't for the glioblastoma research that MD Anderson is doing.
Fundraising to support glioblastoma research
About 17,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed every year with cancer that began in or next to the brain. Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and most malignant primary tumor of the brain. My family and I decided we wanted to change these statistics by putting more money into research to help find a cure for Phil and others.
We started this effort by putting together a music festival fundraiser every year in our hometown outside Houston. All proceeds support brain cancer research at MD Anderson.
When we hear that the money has helped more patients, it's a feeling like no other. Excitement, thankfulness and happiness -- it's like 10 Christmas mornings all rolled into one.
I want what we do to help save lives, to help a dad be a dad or a mom be a mom for many more years. I want cancer to stop taking loved ones. And I know we're getting closer. Every time we make a donation, we're one step closer. I love being a part of that.