OR WRITE TO US:
Karen was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in November 2012. The minute local care said "mastectomy", Karen came to Houston to MDAnderson for a second opinion. Back home, the doctors would have FIRST performed the mastectomy and THEN tested the lymph nodes for cancer. MDAnderson tests the lymph nodes FIRST. Unfortunately, cancer had spread to Karen's lymph nodes. Because of this, MDAnderson started with chemo as opposed to the mastectomy. The chemo worked so well, Karen no longer needed the full mastectomy. Karen then moved on to 6 weeks of radiation here in Houston.
Karen is so thankful that her daughter lived in Houston throughout this process for all of her trips to Houston, including the 6 weeks of radiation. Praise the Lord, Karen just passed 5 years with a clean bill of health!
Greg started having back pain at the age of 32 in the summer of 2015. His local doctors in Tulsa, OK knew he had cancer, but did not know how to treat him; therefore, he was admitted to MDAnderson in November 2015. He stayed in Houston for a month until he was diagnosed with IMT (Inflammatory Myofibroblastic Tumor), a rare Sarcoma cancer. He went home with an experimental chemo pill, and amazingly, it worked!
The tumor quit growing and he had surgery in Houston in March of 2016. It took 9 hours, drained 40 POUNDS of fluid in his tumor, took out some of his colon and a tip of his pancreas, but believed they got everything. After a month of recovery in Houston, Greg returned home to Oklahoma. Unfortunately a few months later, Greg began having stomach pain. MDAnderson confirmed the tumor was back. By December of 2016, the chemo pill was not working and the tumor was continuing to grow. MDAnderson had a few options to try, but were not confident any of them would work. They started conversations with his family about more palliative care as the tumor was taking over his stomach and it wouldn't be long before organs quit working. Greg began trying an IV chemo that miraculously stopped the tumor from growing and had a second surgery in March of 2017.
He continued a few more months of chemo, and has now been living cancer-free with his beautiful wife and 2 children in Oklahoma since then! Greg was blessed to have family to stay with here in Houston that also allowed for his wife and kids to visit during some of the longer stays and for him to receive the care he desperately needed!
Just a few years ago, at the age of 29, Alex was diagnosed with Lymphoma. As a young mother of two, she was terrified and Alex and her husband wanted to seek the very best cancer treatment for my disease. Shortly after her diagnosis, her doctors in Alabama decided MD Anderson in Houston is where she needed to have her radiation treatments after her chemotherapy was complete. Alex said, "The cost of treatment, travel and housing can be completely overwhelming at a time when all you want to focus on is getting better." She was thankful to have friends in Houston that let her stay with them during her treatment at MD Anderson. As a cancer survivor, she is grateful for this ministry and the blessing and incredible impact it will have on those fighting for their life.
Courtney was fortunate enough to have chosen to go to college in the city with the best cancer treatment centers in the world. She was only 19 when she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and she honestly didn't know what she would have done without her parents and support system nearby. She never had to worry about who would be there to take care of her after surgeries or how she would get to all of her appointments. She believes that every cancer patient should have the opportunity to focus on treatment and fight for remission without having to think about where they are going to stay or how they are going to get by this month. Houston Haven will provide that opportunity to patients and will help provide them with the support system they need for this fight.
One of the fortunate benefits of living in Houston, Texas is access to the Texas Medical Center – the largest medical center in the world. In 2013, Beverly was diagnosed with breast cancer and sought treatment at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Thousands of out-of-town guests make their way to Houston to seek treatment.
Luckily, Beverly did not have to travel very far. Every week, Beverly’s son, Alex, would pick her up from her apartment located near the medical center and drive her for treatment. The comfort of having family near-by and being located near the medical center where she was receiving treatment most certainly relieved some of the stress and anxiety of receiving cancer treatment. Cancer is seldom fought alone and in many cases, requires not only the strength of the patient but also the strength of the support system. This cannot be understated, and most people will tell you they could not have made it through their treatment without the support of family and friends. Beverly’s story is no different.