Volunteers Needed for Cancer Study

By: David Norris Email
By: David Norris Email
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BRYAN Volunteers are needed for a cancer research study, and your participation could help to save lives.

Kristine Donatello knows all too well the importance of cancer research studies. At 24 years old, she'd just given birth to her third child and would soon find out she had colon cancer.

"It felt like the rug had been pulled out from under me," Donatello said. "I was angry, because my little boy was in the hospital and I thought there was no way that boy will know how much I love him."

Along with aggressive teatment, Donatello took part in a study. As a result of that study, she found out she had Lynch Syndrome.

"They said your children have a fifty fifty chance of getting this. Each of them," said Donatello.

Doctors soon found out all three children had the same gene. Now, every year, they're tested for cancer. Donatello said her participation in the study saved the lives of her children.

"When I said okay, I thought this is never going to help me. It's too late," Donatello said. "And now it turned back to help the most precious people in my life."

The American Cancer Society wants to continue the trend. In a national survey, they're looking for men and women from the ages of 30 to 65.

"We're looking for lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors that may cause or prevent cancer. So looking at a broad range of things, hoping to get more understanding through the study," said Stephanie Chesson with the American Cancer Society in Bryan.

Chesson said signing up is easy. All you have to do is sign up at cancerstudytx.org. Then volunteers will get a waist measurement, a one time blood draw and will be asked to answer a few questions.

"It's a minimal commitment, but it's a long term commitment" said Chesson. "We're going to be following these people 20 to 30 years.

Chesson said participation in the study could help to save lives.

First enrollment begins in September at Scott and White. The second is scheduled for October at St. Joseph's Hospital.

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