Guest writer: Varisara Tran
Today is a special day and I wanted to take this opportunity as a guest blogger to wish Dan a very happy birthday! Today, Dan is 32 and thriving and Avery and I are so happy to be celebrating today with you.
I realize it has been a very long time since his last update (I’ll get on Dan about that one). Since the last post, we’ve just been living life and keeping busy: Dan started his chief year in residency (finally, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel!), we went on a family vacation to West Palm Beach, and Avery turned 2 (how did that happen so quickly?!?). This past week, we went to Emily Couric Cancer Center at UVA for Dan’s most recent scan and all was clear! We are so thankful that the disease remains at bay.
With this good news, we are focusing our efforts on advocacy and awareness! In partnership with Wild Ginger in Richmond, VA, I am helping to celebrate Dan’s birthday all month by organizing a birthday fundraiser dinner on October 29th where a portion of the proceeds from the evening will go directly to fund lung cancer research. It is a 4-course dinner, with 2 of the courses specially designed by Dan’s cousin Liem, paired with wine for $60. If you are local to the area, we would love to see you there! Call soon as seats have been filling up fast!For those of you who are not local to Richmond, please feel free to contribute directly at this site: https://lungevity.donordrive.com/campaign/Dans-Birthday
Dan is also trying to get into the advocacy action! The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) has a STARS (Supportive Training for Advocates on Research & Science) Program that aims to increase the number of Patient Research Advocates (PRAs) equipped to provide accurate scientific translation in their lung cancer patient/caregiver groups and to provide the patient perspective for lung cancer research and policy. As part of the Program, participants attend the World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC), the world’s largest meeting dedicated to lung cancer and other thoracic malignancies. More than 7,000 delegates come from more than 100 countries to discuss the latest developments in thoracic malignancy research. How cool would it be for Dan to represent ALK Positive and the US in this forum? It is a competitive program where only a select number of PRAs (5 in 2019) are selected each year, but I can’t think of a better PRA than a practicing surgeon living with ALK-rearranged lung cancer? Keep your fingers crossed that Dan gets selected!
That’s all I have for now. I promise I will try to get Dan to post updates more frequently, but you know what they say: no news is good news. Happy Birthday to my amazing husband!