Sara Elizabeth Cooper
Immunotherapy Research Fund
at Duke Cancer Institute
Thanks for stopping by to learn more about my sister's Duke story.
Sara was life flighted from Charleston, West Virginia, to receive care at Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center (now Duke Cancer Institute) in the fall of 1999, where she was formally diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's anaplastic large cell lymphoma at 16 years of age.
Her football-sized tumor, which was in her stomach, was growing at an exponential rate and dying off. The local hospital did not have the sophisticated equipment needed to biopsy the smaller, golf-ball sized, tumor, which had live cells to type the cancer and begin a treatment protocol. The decision was made to transport her to Duke, which had the proper instrumentation to formally diagnose and treat her cancer.
Doctors were encouraged when she was diagnosed; her type of cancer had a 96 percent chance or remission. Unfortunately, Sara's cancer was particularly aggressive. After responding well to the first round of treatments from Duke, her cancer relapsed shortly in the new year. She had an additional round of chemotherapy regimen fail, and went on to have a stem cell transplant in May of 2000 at Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohio, where she spent her 17th and final birthday with us.
The stem cell transplant was not successful. Her cancer metastasized to her liver and other organs and Sara succumbed to her illness on September 27, 2000, at our family home in West Virginia. While Sara did not have the outcome we hoped and prayed for - because of the life saving care she received at Duke - we had one more birthday, and many more milestones with her. And for that we are immensely grateful.
The cutting-edge cancer care and research being conducted at Duke provides the right care, to the right patient, at the right time. The Cooper family has established the Sara Elizabeth Cooper Immunotherapy Research Fund in hopes of bringing this continued care to patients like Sara and families like ours, who need access to tomorrow's cancer care today. We believe that if Sara was diagnosed today, the promise of immunotherapy science would have saved her life.
In honor of Sara's birthday on June 18 (commemorating the 20th birthday without her), my family will match all gifts made to this newly established fund in her name at Duke up to $20,000. Your gift can bring hope to patients like Sara and families like mine when they so desperately need it.
Would you make a donation today in honor, in memory, or in tribute to your loved one afflicted by cancer to Sara's fund at Duke? You can double your impact financially, although your impact is truly innumerable considering the number of patients and their families served at Duke through your generous gift and so many other wonderful people like you.
Thanks for reading about Sara's story, and thank you for your consideration of a gift to Sara's Fund today!
Much love from the Coopers, we remain forever grateful and #foreverduke.
Ms. Ellen S. Medearis
A Loren Hatcher
J. Steven Steven Barnes