Something magical happens when patients, advocates, scientists and health care providers get together

March 25th, 2013

Dr. Herman explaining the multi-disciplinary clinic at Johns Hopkins

Group Picture

<> On Saturday March 23, 2013 pancreatic cancer patients, their family members and pancreatic cancer advocates came to Johns Hopkins to visit the pancreatic cancer research labs, and to meet with the team of health care providers and pancreatic cancer researchers from Hopkins. The visit was arranged by the Baltimore and the Washington D.C. affiliates of PanCAN, the pancreatic cancer advocacy group. Breakfast provided a relaxed time for people to meet. The visitors then broke up into small groups and rotated through eleven “stations.” Each station was manned by a physician or other health care provider who specializes in treating patients with pancreatic cancer, or by a pancreatic cancer scientist. While this “speed dating” arrangement was designed to provide each of the visitors a “snapshot” of some of the advances in pancreatic cancer treatment and research, it did something much more.
For the pancreatic cancer patients, their family members and the pancreatic cancer advocates it gave them a sense of the genuine excitement that we have now in the research labs. Recent advances in cancer genetics and cancer immunology make this one of the most exciting times to be involved in pancreatic cancer research.
For the scientists and health care providers it reminded them why they do what they do. The stories they heard of lost family members, courageous patients, and of love were simply inspiring.
Most importantly, at the end of the day, everyone, the pancreatic cancer patients, their family members, the pancreatic cancer advocates, the health care providers and the scientists were all filled with a sense of real hope. Hope for a brighter tomorrow. Hope made possible by true partnerships, and by a shared dedication to fighting this terrible disease.