YES, You Can Too (beatlivertumors.org) was founded by three stage IV colon cancer survivors; Gordon Gwosdow, Suzanne Lindley, and Cheri Simmons - and two cancer caregivers; Todd Mozingo and Dr. Jim Varner in October, 2006: Each had received a grim prognosis and were faced with very few or no treatment options. Discouraged by the lack of information and resources available to those affected by liver metastases and concerned about the under-representation of survivors who had received treatment, plans materialized with each survivor or loved one recieving targeted treatments. Realizing the need for survivor support and a desire to share information, YES was created through Suzanne's personal action plan at the Inaugural LiveSTRONG Summit.
YES seeks to change the face of primary liver cancer or advanced cancer that has spread to the liver by: advocating for increased funding for cancer research, educating liver tumor survivors of possible surveillance and treatment options, and by being a point of contact and support for those affected by liver tumors. When we first began looking for support and options, there was always a depressing undertone behind the impersonal and often corporate entities. Cancer is as personal as it gets. The statistics were dispassionate. Stage IV cancer patients need to feel like someone cares. At YES, we do care and are concerned. If you look at our web-site and feel that it is less than corporate in nature - know that is by design!! We want survivors to know that they aren't alone!
"There is nothing more we can do is a refrain we hear frequently," says Gordon Gwosdow, eight year stage IV colon cancer survivor and co-founder of YES. "Yet, here we are, right in front of the medical and research communities representing the global voice of all survivors living with liver tumors. If these survivors had access to treatment options readily available they may unlock the key to longer survival and begin to live with this as a chronic condition and not as a deadly disease."
Dr. Jim Varner had years of experience in medical practice and thought when his loved one was ill that he could guide the way. He and his Linda found out about the hope of targeted treatment to thwart her liver involvement. It was the cruelest turn of fate when Dr. Varner found he could not break the impasse of the insurance approval process. They turned to Suzanne as well as extra channels to push an appeal. When it was finally granted nine weeks later, Linda's condition had deteriorated and had taken her from being a perfect candidate to too ill for it's use. Upon her passing, he vowed to assist the fight to improve access to this dramatic treatment and remains committed to braking those boundaries that still exist today.
Today, YES is a growing international group of survivors and supporters. Embracing the motto, "When the Improbable is Possible" members participate in an online list-serv, attend tele-conferences, lobby federal and state legislators, speak at conferences and health fairs, and have begun a growing awareness campaign targeted at the medical community encouraging doctors and researchers to focus more resources on this underserved segment of the population. YES strives to educate and support all survivors living with a diagnosis of liver tumors.
Board of Directors
Scientific Advisory Board
YES You Can Too is a 501c3 "EIN 26-1273844" subordinate affiliate under the umbrella of "United Ostomy Associations of America, Inc."
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