During the writing of this book, my mother lost her fight to GIST cancer. I dedicated the book in her memory and promised her I would raise GIST cancer awareness.
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is a rare cancer affecting the digestive tract or nearby structures within the abdomen. In my mother's case, it affected her liver, though it eventually spread beyond it.
There currently is no real cure for GIST, and to make matters worse, traditional cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiotherapy are generally ineffective against GIST. My mother had surgery three times to try to remove the tumors and used a drug called Gleevec, but the cancer grew back every time and eventually became inoperable and Gleevec was ineffective. She also tried other drugs which had terrible side effects and also proved to be ineffective for her.
We also learned that in the course of fighting the disease, that GIST is too rare of a cancer to get attention and funding from the American Cancer Society. I never thought about the internal politics of charities until now. This led my mother to take an active role in The Gist Cancer Research Fund and she helped organize GIST Cancer "Find the Cure" fundraiser walks in San Jose, CA which works closely with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) which does GIST cancer research.
Donations to the GIST Cancer Research Fund (or other cancer research charities of your choosing) are greatly appreciated. Contributions are tax deductible. (If you do contribute to the aforementioned charity, I would appreciate it if you put down iPhone Game Book in the comments/memo and send me a note so I know.)
Other Resources about GIST: