I hate April 25. It’s the day my mother died of breast cancer, 21 years ago. I don’t think anyone is really ever prepared to lose a parent. I certainly wasn’t. I often think of the many milestones in my life that she missed. Much has changed since then, particularly in the field of cancer research and treatment. In 1990, triple negative breast cancer and personalized medicine were unheard of terms. In fact, the black box of cancer was just beginning to open at the time my mother’s life was ending. Hopkins scientists had discovered the genetic basis of cancer, fundamentally changing our understanding of the cascade events that lead to cancer and opening the way to future discoveries. Today, Hopkins physicians can test an individual patient’s molecular profile and tailor his or her treatment to it. Twenty-one years ago, cancer was the enemy in my life of which I knew only fear and dread. Today, I have the privilege or working with some of the best minds in cancer medicine--physicians and scientists who are passionate and tireless about finding cures and new ways to help patients. Progress is happening every day. So, rather than despair, this April 25th I have hope.
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