How long have you been living with GIST?
What was your first thought when you were diagnosed with GIST?
Am I going to lose my hair?? (for reals. that happened.)
What do you do?
I am a Music Therapist in a long-term care community and the music director at my church.
How are you doing now?
Other than a few aches and pains, I haven’t felt this good since before my original diagnosis. I have had no evidence of disease since my recurrence in 2010.
GIST is called a “rare” cancer, how do you feel about that term being applied to you?
My older brother always said I was unique! Related to having a “rare” cancer, I feel like I, and the thousands like me, deserve the same standard of care any other patient with cancer gets, including government funded research to find a cure.
Tell me a little about your special characteristic.
I have been playing the piano for 25+ years, and love to sing and play the guitar. I have always loved helping people. I was thrilled to be able to combine the two by becoming a music therapist. I became board-certified in 2004 and have worked with older adults since that time. I especially enjoy working with people who have dementia, because the right music at the right time works powerfully to stimulate memory in my residents. It is very rewarding to use my passion of making music to help improve the quality of life of others.