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Donna Moy has spent 30 years in the legal field, working as a legal secretary. Five years ago, her world was about to change. A cough, so persistent that it impacted her social life, caused Donna to make an appointment with her General Practitioner to see if her cough had anything to do with her chronic bronchitis. After three rounds of antibiotics that did not work, Donna was sent to have an X-ray a day before her 52nd birthday. Less than an hour after the X-ray, she received a phone call from her doctor announcing she had cancer. A consult with a surgeon and subsequent CT scan revealed that not only did Donna have stage IV lung cancer, but the cancer had mestastized to both her bones and brain.
She began seeing a team of oncologists who expressed amazement at her apparent good health. Genetic testing revealed that Donna was positive for the ALK mutation. Chemo, radiation and a clinical trial over the space of about a year caused the tumor to shrink. Receiving tomorrow’s medicine today, Donna was able to access treatment via clinical trials. She is now on her third treatment, this one with alectinib (Alecensa), and Donna reports she is happy to be alive.
She is a patient of Sandra Manley-Eichler, oncological social worker at Northwestern. Sandra has provided assistance as Donna pursued information about finances and insurance, as well as any other needed suggestions.
Today, she volunteers her time, sharing her experience, hoping to inspire others to keep living. Donna would like to thank all of her family, friends and neighbors who offer their time, help and support. Donna’s number one piece of advice to other cancer patients is, “Don’t waste your energy on something negative. Be positive.”