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One year cancer free

I have been involved with an incredible charity for several years, “The Friends of Patients at the NIH”. This year, the role of this organization has become more important than ever before, with so much uncertainty about the future of funding for the clinical research at the NIH – which has led to the discovery of chemotherapy, immunotherapy, antiretrovirals and countless other cures and treatments that have touched so many of our lives.

One of the unfortunate casualties of this uncertain environment for NIH research is that the patients who give their lives to these experimental trials – often even after they have lost all hope for their own recovery – end up carrying the burden of paying for their own airfare, travel costs, and lodging, with diminishing resources to support them at a time when their healing is crucial to the success of the research. Our charity helps these patients by providing support that ranges from emergency funds to cover a month of their mortgage so they can avoid going into bankruptcy to covering the cost of a pair of special goggles to help offset the excruciating eye pain associated with a new radiation treatment for a teenage cancer patient, to even organizing housing in Bethesda or a night out for a family who may not have many more nights together again. I have met many of these patients and the one word I can use for every single one of them is brave. They are truly extraordinary, and they are doing a great service for all of us.

I have been looking for ways to do my part and help ensure that this extraordinary work can continue. This is very personal for me. As you all know,  I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer last year. I was so lucky to be diagnosed so early and I’ve now been totally cancer free for a year, but too many of my very close family members and friends have not been so lucky.  Their courage in undertaking invasive treatments to extend their lives never ceases to amaze me, and the commitment that they have to helping others  is truly humbling.

I know that every one of us can think of someone that has battled this awful disease and can recall the courage and bravery that they have demonstrated.  In memory of my friends and family, as well of your own, I ask you to help me fundraise $5,000 for the Friends of Patients at the NIH, so that the next time I or you  sit with a loved one in the hospital,  we know we are making it possible for so many other families to do exactly the same thing – as they fight together for future medical breakthroughs. I’m was so blessed to have had the means to undertake my treatment with my family at my side, and with no financial concerns.

I hope you’ll consider joining me in celebrating the bravery of my friends and family members whose love and friendship has made me into who I am. I can think of few better ways to honor – and extend – their impact on this world. Thank you in advanced for your contribution.

With gratitude,


Terri Cooper PhD

Chief Inclusion Officer
Global Healthcare Sector Leader

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The Friends of Patients at the NIH