It all started with a phone call…
“Teona, it’s Dr. Lee. I found something on your CT scan this morning that I could not have predicted. There’s a mass in your pancreas. I need you to get to a surgeon right away. Worst-case scenario—it might be cancer. I’m sorry.”
Ironically, that call came on April Fools’ Day, 2016, but it was far from a joke. What started out as an annoying stomach ache had now turned into a possible cancer diagnosis.
Just moments earlier, Teona Ducre was enjoying a cool spring day with her friend, and now she was trying to wrap her head around the individual words: mass, pancreas, cancer. While the call with her doctor lasted just a few minutes, her heart was dropping. She didn’t know much about pancreatic cancer except that people don’t often survive it.
Meet Mary Kent Ellis, a 44-year-old wife and a mother to three young girls, who was recently diagnosed with stage one pancreatic cancer. We invite you to learn why she says there are worse things than having pancreatic cancer.
Mary Kent’s journey began after suffering her third miscarriage. A woman with strong faith, she prayed for an answer for the loss and shortly thereafter began experiencing an unusual pain in her abdomen. The pain would get worse after eating but wasn’t severe enough to impact her normal daily routine. Unsure of the origin of the pain, her husband strongly encouraged her to see her doctor.
Even though all routine labs and tests came back normal, Mary Kent’s doctor ordered a CT scan to check for gall stones, kidney stones or ulcers. The day of her CT scan, Mary Kent was surprised when she received a call from her doctor urging her to return to his office immediately to discuss the results.
When diagnosed with metastatic pancreatic cancer, a patient faces unfavorable odds. Maintaining real hope is difficult when only 9 percent of patients survive five years.
But there is a place where hope lives, and that’s under the care of a clinical trial. Research has shown that the average one-year survival rate for metastatic patients is nearly double for those enrolled in a clinical trial.
Destroy Pancreatic Cancer’s laser-focused mission is to fund clinical trials in Atlanta.
In collaboration with The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Piedmont Cancer Institute, Destroy Pancreatic Cancer is funding one of six, concurrent clinical trials. TGen is the undisputed leader in discovering advances that lead to new standard of care.