Walk: Architect Tatiana Sarkissian believes she gets her strength from being both a brain cancer survivor and a patient, following a recurrence of the disease. She didn’t draw much attention to her personal challenge following her diagnosis at 23, but six years later she is pushing for a spotlight on brain cancer in hopes of seeking new treatment.
A goal is to rival the awareness of breast cancer, a decades-long campaign that increased funding for research, which developed drugs, procedures and care models, saving lives.
Today Sarkissian, 30, of Los Angeles participated in the Brain Tumor Awareness Walk, Roll or Ride, joined by more than 150 brain tumor patients and their families, doctors, nurses and staff members at Providence Saint John’s Health Center and itsa Pacific Neuroscience Institute.
Joining the walk was Marcy Camacho and family and friends. Marcy traveled from her home in Arkansas for treatment at Providence Saint John’s renowned brain cancer program. She begins chemotherapy this week after successful surgical removal of a tumor she had named “Ophelia.” Also in the Crowd were Candice and Kevin Hodges of Moorpark.
Kevin was unhappy with treatment at another hospital and came to Saint John’s where he, too, underwent surgery to remove his tumor.
The Saint John’s Cancer Institute and Pacific Neuroscience Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center are committed to research, innovation and a very comprehensive care plan for patients with brain tumors. There are just five FDA-approved brain cancer drugs and one device, and Providence is committed to raising awareness to encourage more research and funding that will lead to new therapies and treatment.