History of Lua Cocoa / GIST Cancer

LuaCocoa has been a very long time in development. Its history stems from wanting to fill in many of the limitations of the LuaObjCBridge. But with the announcement of Objective-C 2.0 and BridgeSupport for 10.5 Leopard in roughly 2006, it became clear LuaCocoa would have to become a new bridge rewritten from scratch.

Considering myself only a casual user of both Objective-C and Lua, I sought out various experts from alternative Objective-C/Lua bridge implementations as well as experts on BridgeSupport and libffi. I also spent time trying to patch the LuaObjCBridge to keep it working in the interim and it became sort of a proving ground for new LuaCocoa ideas. However progress on the actual new bridge was slow.

GIST Cancer

In 2009, my mother entered the final stages of GIST cancer. There were many long hospital waits, so to keep myself occupied/distracted, I started writing the core code for LuaCocoa.

Several months later, she lost her fight to GIST cancer. I stopped working on LuaCocoa completely.

Roughly a year after my mother first entered her terminal stages of GIST, I looked at the LuaCocoa code again. Feature-wise it was already quite comprehensive. But I was already forgetting how much of it was implemented. So I decided I better finish filling in the holes of LuaCocoa and get it out to people before it is completely lost to the ages. My hope is this technology may be useful to people and maybe I can create some good from the loss of my mother. So I dedicate this project to her memory and will try to raise awareness of GIST cancer.

About GIST Cancer

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 LuaCocoa in the comments/memo and send me a note just so I know.)

Other Resources about GIST:

GIST Support International

Life Raft Group

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