This is our journey with our daughter Shannon through treatment for, and ultimately death from, a brainstem glioma tumor. We continue to write about our lives after Shannon's passing as we try to carry on her spirit. We are writing from the heart - parental discretion advised.
Friday June 26, 2015
Well, it is whirlwind of activity around here... Today we leave for 9 days... 3 in NYC to attend niece Annie's wedding and then Sunday night we fly on to Shannon Airport for our week in Ireland.
Sunny and Sylvie are under the care of Grandma and Papa Harkins. We are ready.
Of course we will think of Shannon often on this trip. Her ashes are traveling with us and will be sprinkled in the River Shannon...
The circle of life moves on, but Shannon is still doing her part. This week on Mayo Clinic Radio, Dr. Richard Vile tells the story of how he's been affected by Shannon and the research he's doing now using Shannon's cells.
It's hard to fathom that getting to know Dr. Cynthia Wetmore at St. Jude led us to donating Shannon's cells there, where Dr. Wetmore cared for them and helped them grow in the lab. After attending Shannon's funeral, Dr. Vile was able to request those those cells from Dr. Wetmore so that he could begin his research into treating DIPG with immunotherapy. They are making advances with this type of therapy in other cancers, and now they are working on treating brain tumors this way.
If you can, tune in here at 9:05 a.m. CT, Saturday, June 27, to hear about Dr. Vile's research. You can also find Mayo Clinic Radio on iHeartRadio.
If you miss the show, I'll share the podcast when it becomes available
This whole story feels like it's not finished. Will Shannon's cells actually lead to better treatment someday? Wouldn't that be exactly what she wanted? I'm holding out hope that I can see that in my lifetime.
So as I pack, I'm thinking of Cynthia and Richard and Shannon's cells and her gift to us all. She has inspired us to see the world and enjoy each day. Off we go...