My name is Lisa Lorden, and I am so excited to be the new Maryland Chapter Leader. I found Debbie’s Dream Foundation when my mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 stomach cancer in October 2016. It took us over four months to get a diagnosis. I was her caregiver and advocate for two years. She fought bravely during those two years having 33 chemotherapies and ten rounds of radiation. On October 29, 2018, my mom passed away. On the worst day of my life, I was angry at myself being a nurse practitioner and still not being able to help my mom beat this disease. Initially, I felt helpless but knew that my mom being who she was would not want other people to go through what she had been through. With time, I now know I want to work for the warriors in treatment, their caregivers, and those that have fought so bravely. If we all do something we can make a difference, talking about stomach cancer and getting the word out is how we beat this disease.
I am a nurse practitioner, an assistant professor, and a Ph.D. student. I am graduating in May 2020, and my research is in chemotherapy late effects and health promotional behaviors in pediatric cancer survivors who are now young adults. Research is a big part of my life, and as we all know, research is the way to find a cure. Without funding and getting the word out about stomach cancer, we cannot move forward. I believe that together, we are stronger and can make a difference. No one should be diagnosed at such a late stage where options are so limited. We can do better, and we need to educate both patients and providers. Patients deserve more options and more clinical trials, and the way to make this happen is to spread the word through Debbie’s Dream Foundation.
I am very excited to spread the mission of Debbie’s Dream Foundation. I hope that you will join in the fight to end stomach cancer.