In 2009 I began having significant trouble with my vision.  Thinking that maybe my prescription had changed, I made an appointment with my optometrist for a check-up.  What she found was a tumor in my right eye.  After seeing ophthalmologists in Roanoke and Charlottesville, Virginia, I was told that they suspected cancer.  I was referred to Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where I was diagnosed with malignant amelonotic choroidal melanoma, a type of cancer that affects 6 out of 1 million people in the United States each year.  At that time I was told that the priorities were 1) to save my life; 2) to save my eye; and 3) to save my vision – in that order.

The tumor was considered a medium-sized tumor and the recommended treatment was radioactive plaque therapy.  Had I been diagnosed several years ago, my only treatment option would have been removal of my eye.  In two weeks I returned to Philadelphia for treatment where they attached a nickel-sized “plaque” with radiation seeds to my eyeball targeting this tumor.  After 5 days the plaque was removed and I was sent home to recover.  I have had good results from the initial surgery and the follow-up treatment that I have taken.

C-TREC is such a great way to raise money for rare cancer research and do everything we can as a community to make sure that treatment options are advancing.   By funding research, we can make a difference for those who are affected in the future.  In a small way, I feel like I am helping future generations to have even better treatment options than we do today!

P.O. Box 832
Damascus, VA 24236 
Tel: 276-492-0701


© 2010 by the Penny F. Garrett Foundation.

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