WHAT IF WE COULD PREVENT THE RECURRENCE OF OVARIAN CANCER?
Sounds incredible, right? But Magee-Womens Research Institute is making tremendous strides in the detection, treatment, and prevention of women’s cancers—including breakthrough therapies for ovarian and cervical cancers that are in large-scale clinical trials right now.
WHAT MAGEE SCIENTISTS ARE DOING:
· Uncovering new prevention and treatment approaches in more than 20 clinical trials.
· Making strides in the detection, treatment, and prevention of women’s cancers.
· Working to solve for treatment resistance in the most common form of breast cancer.
When Darcel Fahy was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer at the impossibly young age of 25, she set two goals for herself: to live her life to the fullest, and to contribute to research that would help other patients.
She accomplished both.
During nearly eight years of treatment, Darcel developed a bond with her surgeon, Dr. Robert Edwards, and was part of his clinical trials studying intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Though not yet universally accepted, three clinical trials have shown its effectiveness compared to standard therapy.
Darcel beat difficult odds against a five-year survival rate. She inspired everyone who came into contact with her. And her contributions to research helped save the life of a woman she never met.
Dr. Carolyn Kubik is an infertility specialist who trained at Magee. In April 2017, she was also diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer, and like Darcel, she was treated by Dr. Robert Edwards, who used the same chemotherapy protocol that he studied in those clinical trials.
Today, she is back to work in her practice. Like Darcel, she has a motto: “I was not going to let cancer beat me down,” she says. “But the people I’m most grateful to are the women who went through those clinical trials before me, who allowed me the benefit of having chemotherapy that is allowing me to live an enjoyable life. So that’s who I’m most grateful to, and that’s who I’m living for.”
In 2019, Darcel’s husband, Mike Fahy, approached Whitehorse Brewing in Berlin, Pennsylvania, about brewing a coffee milk stout that his late wife had inspired him to create. He called it With You Always, and he wanted to sell it as a fundraiser for Magee-Womens Research Institute to honor Darcel’s quest for a cure and to thank Dr. Edwards and the rest of her team for her care.
Though Mike Fahy no longer brews for Whitehorse, he is still selling the stout again this year in September 2021 – Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and also the month of Darcel’s birthday.