by Cassandra R. Elias
In the News: Mom's Plea to Drug Company for an Experimental Drug Goes Viral
Darlene Gant is dying from stage four breast cancer. There's no treatment that will change this and no current FDA approved treatments that will lengthen her life. In all likelihood, she will not get to spend Mother’s Day with her 11-year-old son, which is her dying wish.
There is one last hope. An experimental drug called Pertuzumab which could extend her life. However, it is not FDA approved.
Darlene decided she would do whatever it takes to stay alive to see Mother's Day so she sent letters to the FDA and the pharmaceutical company, Genetech, pleading for the release of the drug under the compassionate use exception. The company responded that it would not be available until June – too late for Darlene.
Her husband then recorded an online plea. Three weeks after the 20-minute emotional video hit the internet, it had gone viral, getting more than 19,000 views.
In response to the video and the numerous phone calls people were inspired to make to Genetech, the pharmaceutical company made the unusual move to give Darlene the medication.
Darlene went to the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and got her first dose of the drug right away. It is hoped that the drug will target the aggressive cancer and allow her body to fight the disease.
Darlene hopes her story inspires others dying of cancer. "God knows if it helps one person stand up and say I'll do the same thing or I'll fight, I'm happy." Gant said.
We sincerely hope that this drug not only allows Darlene to spend Mother’s Day with her son, but extends her life far beyond that.
What do you think of this story? Would you go this far?
Photo Courtesy of Dalia Dangerfield, BayNews9