I am delighted to see the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative reach age 10. Unfortunately, you don't choose to have a sarcoma. Instead, sarcoma chooses you, and what is even harder is that no one knows what these things even are. They are not so well known as breast cancer, prostate cancer, or leukemia, and the fear of something you have never even heard of is doubly unsettling.
Sarcomas can have awful consequences for children, adolescents and adults alike. At the same time, we understand now more than ever how best to treat them. There are few, if any, endeavors to improve communication about sarcomas both at a physician and patient level that are as successful as the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative. Bruce and Bev Shriver somehow found it within themselves, despite their daughter's passing from Ewing sarcoma, to organize both research and better communication about these tumors so that there is less fear, better knowledge, better research and better outcomes.
And they have done it. The Shrivers, with the help of many people who have had to face the specter of a sarcoma, have spearheaded substantial grant programs targeting specific sarcomas, and their newsletter and online resources help someone who is newly diagnosed face these cancers with greater confidence and a positive outlook. I routinely recommend patients and doctors alike use the SarcomaHelp.org website to get a better understanding of what a sarcoma is and what to do about it. I applaud the efforts of Bruce, Bev and so many other families and patients reaching beyond themselves to make a difference for others in a similar situation, something I am sure Liddy would be very proud to have seen.
Thank you for the opportunity to participate in your projects, Bev and Bruce, and I hope there will be many more opportunities for collaboration in the future.
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
New York, NY