D&K - Betsy McDonald, 31, pleomorphic sarcoma, Arlington with Kerry Beliveau, RN, Dana-Farber 8-22-18

WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon
Wednesday, August 22nd
Betsy first began to feel pain in her hip and was dealing with some nausea, which she initially wrote off as a pulled muscle and GI issues, in 2016. But when the symptoms persisted, Betsy decided to see a doctor and was diagnosed with unclassified pleomorphic sarcoma (UPS) in November 2016 at 30 years old.

As part of her treatment, Betsy has undergone radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery on her leg and lungs. She began her treatment at the end of 2016 with chemo and radiation. She then had two surgeries in 2017 but found recurrences in both her leg and lungs in December 2017. Betsy is now in chemotherapy with the goal of controlling her tumor growth.

Betsy is supported by her fiancé, who she will be marrying this weekend, her brother, sister, and her parents. While she is currently on a leave of absence as she treats her disease, Betsy is a project manager at the Center for Sustainable Energy.

Betsy loves to hike, kayak, or just be outside. She recently went on a kayaking trip with First Descents, a non-profit group that takes young adults with cancer on trips with patients and survivors. 

Betsy is extremely grateful for the treatment she has received from Dana-Farber and the relationships she has built with her nurses and doctors.

Kerry is a program nurse in the Department of Sarcoma at Dana-Farber. 

She has worked in many capacities at the Institute, starting her career at Dana-Farber as a new graduate. 

It was her work with the Division of Hematologic Malignancies and The Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology that increased her exposure to the number of young adults battling cancer.  

She found that she really enjoyed working with these patients and became interested in how to bring them together and provide a community in the oncologic world.  

She was excited when she learned about the inception of the Young Adult Program (YAP) at Dana-Farber and joined the team.

Initially, she worked to spread word about the program to young adult patients.  As her interest grew, so did the program, and she has become more involved through attending YAP events and collaborating with members of the YAP team. Kerry continues to bring her excitement and enthusiasm to the program and looks forward to being active in its continued growth.

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

We're happy to welcome and a Betsy McDonald. From Arlington and carry Alamo who is a nurse at an apartment to see both of except Korea Betsy let's say let's start with you. First of all. Every year at learn new terms. Leo more fix our Coleman's brand new one for me and I'm sure it's a brand new one for you. What happened. Yes IE. You know had a few symptoms that we couldn't quite place had some unexplained Nuys. Out of my pity I thing and then separately I had this pain in my leg that didn't quite go away by. In on active person and it didn't think much of it just assumed it would go away and plan it did in its land in different skin and one thing led to another and as quickly catapulted into. This journey found out that is on. I'm different cheated the Arctic sarcoma UPS's little easier to remember I could have gotten Mac. I don't tell you that there the they and then so. Jump straight into treatment anyway. They mention the journey that you've been on the treatment which is that a number of things how what have you done an in house clerk on. So right away. Original tumors in my leg and I started waited radiation and intensive chemotherapy right away followed by surgery. For a that was about a five month period right after diagnosis. And after surgery had a couple good months weren't stealing dead and that is in the clear but unfortunately this past December. Found out that the cancer had returned in both my Lon in my leg and in my lungs in. The surgery and radiation and options at this point so I'm into the therapy right now I'm not a clinical trial that ten rounds and and so yeah it's been a lot of different stuff. But at had a great team with me and carries than I buy side the whole way. Kerry you were you want to work at the Dana Farber basically right after graduation yes been there for a number of years have been a number of different capacities. We hear so much about clinical trials and we hear such great success stories. Is it sometimes a little scary though to start clinical trial yet they can do what's gonna happen here. I think it's always hard for patients to consider clinical trial because it feels like it doesn't have the same certainty but as you said I've been at the Dana Farber for a long time and I cannot believe the evolution. In drug development that happened. Over the recent years and really things move much more quickly to us recognizing when things have benefit in being able to bring it to a patient. I think once they have some time. Being educated on why we think the clinical trial would be a good idea for them. It helps to alleviate some of that fear. And that's what's a bit like having someone like carry along with the to help you. It's indescribable I always say that carries like Stanley told Tina Tina are really is like family. You know they Lackey threw it it's really overwhelming when you get that news. And you have to make decisions by its. You know they're so informative they're so encouraging and they really help hold your hand you never feel like you're alone. When you have. That if the team that you haven't Dana Farber. Betsy makes it easy happen. Not everybody. Yeah he is a plus she makes it hard for the rest of us and that she is super active and even in her treatment she stayed active Anthony's. Greek monumental excursions. That the rest of us look at thanked me now. And along those lines tell me about first descent switches. Group that you went on a trip with the recently he had Kerry actually. And the teen Jennifer were coming on to them it's a nonprofit that sends out young adults with cancer on. These adventure trips say go kayaking that's on I did and Jerry width fifteen other young and young adults who are going through the exact same thing that you are and there's really no other feeling like that you know. You never alone in this journey but it's it's totally different story to have people who you know know exactly what you're going through without you having ten say a word or explain anything so. Just to be surrounded by. A group and I think young adults you know on this adventure together it's really Tara wants a lifetime. Tripped and it was awesome date they send. Young adults outcomes and they can do that free of charge and they partner with in a farmer and the young adults program to get as many people as possible is really fun. There this weekend in the RE I just. Want to limit of what we. Are doing it that's up to the we just volatile as much as I couldn't compete at you know not much else. Where's the wedding of the New Hampshire. I'd hopefully on mountain keep your fingers hospital in either. Dollars we will demand that well I appreciate. Along that's been in the planning stay calm so we need. Shortly after matter currents in December. Waited to planet for a while just as archer treatments like and I'd be feeling and it's. Parred ten months at its sixth week in cycles and it's department. A few months ago we just decided we should go for it in on the ticket date and hope for the best out of. Does that give you sort of an escape to for everything you're dealing with our were planning mess that's what we're doing and you can really say here your mind tiller. Yeah it's a real bright spot in and it hasn't been happy to look forward to. And and celebrate I mean look at a solid rate. The momentary can so we're trying to make important. To supplement it and and with Clinton. Kerry having been at all of these Jimmy Fund radio telephones they say the biggest difference for me is. Success stories there's so many more success story has now than when we started this seventeen years ago I agree it's they're freshen. And everybody's doing great good luck. This weekend not coming back pressure or anything congratulates him not that I didn't want to regulation that will go to a breath yeah. Don't think about the weather part of that answer I hope that works out great to see guys thank you very much.