There are moments in Frank Chamberlin’s life he will never forget —- playing football for Mahwah high school, meeting the love of his life in that same NJ town, 4 exciting years at Boston College, seeing the birth of his three beautiful daughters and being diagnosed with a life threatening form of brain cancer at the age of 34. For those of you who know Frank, it is unthinkable that this can happen to an athletic, smart, funny, dedicated husband, father and friend. For those of you who don’t know Frank, you would want to…
He and his wife Lisa are extraordinary people. They care about where they’ve come from and about community. They both grew up in Mahwah and moved back to the area that they love to raise their family. They are the most exceptional parents raising their three girls, all under the age of six, with great love, purpose and planning. However, no one can prepare for the terrifying moments Frank and Lisa have had to face since the day he was diagnosed.
Last January, Frank collapsed at work with a seizure. He was diagnosed with an anaplastic astrocytoma (Grade III Glioma), a very serious form of brain cancer. Within 2 weeks of the seizure and diagnosis he underwent brain surgery which would only remove a portion of the tumor. While the surgery left Frank with weakness in his right arm, recurrent seizures and a significant motor speech impairment, he has found a will to fight far greater than he ever thought his faith could provide.
But even with all of his perseverance, the prognosis of Frank’s disease remains serious. Current available treatment in the United States for a case like Frank’s is insufficient at best. There is, however, a promising new treatment available with incredible clinical scientific data to support its efficacy in fighting this disease. It is called Immunotherapy and it involves using each individual patients own cells to create a vaccine to help that patient’s immune system target and destroy its specific cancer. Immunotherapy will work synergistically with other drug treatments.
The problems facing Frank and his family are that this treatment is very expensive, it is not covered by insurance and it is only available to Frank in Europe at this time. Immunotherapy is undoubtedly the future of the fight against cancer, but Frank does not have the luxury of waiting the many years it will take for this treatment to be offered to him in the United States.
Lisa and Frank are always the people offering to help others - never the ones to ask for help. Time is of the essence. They need our support immediately. Frank is in a window of strength and his tumor is stable right now. This window will close at some point. Frank needs to receive the immunotherapy before this happens.