Thursday, Apr. 29, 2010

Douglas Schwartzentruber and Larry Kwak

I will never forget the day I heard the words "You have cancer." They are three of the most chilling words you can ever hear, stripping you of control over your life, not to mention any confidence that life will even continue.

Drs. Douglas Schwartzentruber, 53, and Larry Kwak, 51, may change all that. Science has long sought a cure — or at least better treatments — for cancer. But Schwartzentruber and Kwak, working in separate labs, are following separate paths to a common goal: a vaccine against the disease.

Imagine a world in which doctors no longer have to utter the three words that change so many lives. Think about the freedom cancer survivors could have from constant worry about deadly recurrences. The studies now under way could one day make chemotherapy or radiation a thing of the past. I am proud to call myself a cancer survivor, but thanks to the work of Drs. Schwartzentruber and Kwak, there may come a time when such a label is just a distant memory.

Shanteau, an Olympic swimmer, learned of his testicular cancer before the 2008 Games. He swam anyway

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