Making the Most of More Time:
Stories of Survivorship
A KidneyCAN Town Hall Event
In a moderated discussion, patients reflect on their kidney cancer diagnosis, living fully, getting support, and making the most of their time.
➥ Missed the live webinar? Watch here!
This event has already taken place, but you can watch the full video here and find the resources mentioned and linked in the chat listed below.
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Here are links to the resources for patients and caregivers mentioned in the program. Some resources were discussed by panelists, while others were brought up by attendees in the chat discussion.
More from the Panelists
Mental Health Resources
Connecting with Community
Communication Tips for Family and Friends
“When you have cancer, there’s so much pressure to go out and DO SOMETHING every day. Sometimes just existing and being happy is a good day. Take the win when you can!”
– Panelist Laura Esfeller
KidneyCAN thanks all who participated in this special Town Hall event, including Dr. Evan Hall for masterful moderation, and our panelists for sharing their stories and perspectives. Thank you as well to our patient and caregiver community for providing insights and resources in the chat and community social that followed the Town Hall.
Meet the Patient Panelists
ADAM STERN, M.D.
Harvard Medical School
A distinguished psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Adam Stern’s journey took a twist when he transitioned from being a physician to a patient. Diagnosed with metastatic kidney cancer in 2018, he faced the challenge head-on and has spent the last five years undergoing multiple surgeries, ablations, and immunotherapy treatments to manage the disease.
Despite these hurdles, Adam returned to work full-time, pursued his passions in writing, cartooning, and podcasting, and celebrated the birth of his second child, who is now 2 1/2 years old.
Embodying resilience and optimism, he approaches each day with the determination to make the most of the time he’s been given and to position himself for good fortune. Adam attributes his perseverance to the exceptional care he has received and the unwavering support of his loving family.
Read more about Adam’s work here.
SWOG Cancer Research Network
Laura is a 35-year-old metastatic kidney cancer survivor and HLRCC patient who was diagnosed with kidney cancer at the age of 29. She is a writer, marketer, and cat fanatic. Laura loves the beach, music, traveling, and not having cancer. Born in Louisiana and now living in California, Laura is a statistical abnormality who fights for cures for kidney cancer.
Laura says cancer is “one big game of deception,” as it took years for doctors to diagnose her with kidney cancer. Her young age deceived them. Despite her cancer diagnosis, she maintains a positive outlook and is always candid about her struggles with the disease. Laura has undergone major surgery to remove her kidney and other organs, and has experienced multiple setbacks, including a diagnosis of metastatic kidney cancer. However, she has been in remission for six years, thanks in part to the Cabometyx drug, which she received through the through PAPMET/SWOG S1500 clinical trial.
In addition to her cancer advocacy work, Laura is also the Director of Marketing Services for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in California, where she oversees the production, account services, and copywriting teams within the brand marketing organization. Despite her busy schedule, Laura is committed to fighting for cures for kidney cancer and raising awareness about AYA (adolescent and young adult) cancer. You can read more on Laura’s blog here.
Co-Founder & President,
Bryan’s journey with kidney cancer began in the summer of 2007 when he was only 46 years old and a new father to one-year-old twins.
Despite the disease spreading beyond local lymph nodes, Bryan and his wife chose to undergo surgery, thanks to the recommendation of a doctor who believed in his chances due to his age and overall health. After an arduous 13-hour operation, a week in intensive care, and weeks of recovery, Bryan’s three-month scans were clear. Today, he continues to show no evidence of disease (NED).
In 2013, a spark of inspiration from a good friend ignited Bryan’s passion for kidney cancer advocacy and the pursuit of cures for others. Grateful for the unwavering support from his wife, family, friends, and his faith in God, Bryan is proud of KidneyCAN’s success in raising research funding for kidney cancer and the growing community of researchers committed to providing better treatment options for those still in need.
Read more about Bryan’s work here.
An informed patient is an empowered patient.
We at KidneyCAN know how challenging it can be to keep up with research developments and how they could impact your treatment options. We hope the ideas presented in our Town Hall help you as you work with your doctor to manage your care for kidney cancer.
If you’re looking to connect with more people who share your challenges and can offer support, check out our Smart Patients forum.
This event supported by:
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