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Book details
  • Genre:MEDICAL
  • SubGenre:Oncology / General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:36
  • eBook ISBN:9781483512006

Steps To Hope

A Practical Guide to Seeking the Best Possible Cancer Care

by Frank Kalman

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Steps to Hope is designed to help patients, parents, and caregivers find answers to some of the most important questions, such as: How can I identify the doctors and centers with the most experience in my disease? How do I request a second and third opinion when I’m scared I’ll anger my oncologist? What’s the best way to learn about new options and clinical trials? Could I ever afford to take my child across the country to a top center?
My name is Frank Kalman. In 2001 I became what I call an Accidental Expert on Cancer. My 12 year old daughter, Calli, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma and our family began a long journey to seek a cure for her. While my family's story involves a parent's fight for his daughter's survival, the information contained here will be helpful to both children and adults diagnosed with cancer, their families, caregivers, and loved ones. I am a dad, not a doctor, and this is not meant to be a medical how-to or even a self-help book. Cancer is a terrifying odyssey none of us want to experience. But if we must, a Field Guide can surely help. This is my attempt to share with you some of the things our family learned during our daughter's fight with childhood cancer. In hindsight, I realize that during Calli’s fight with cancer our family had to make some of the most important decisions up front, when we knew the least. This booklet is about creating a critical understanding: DOCTORS AND MEDICAL CENTERS YOU GO TO CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE IN YOUR BATTLE WITH CANCER. I believe that if you spend one afternoon identifying the key centers for your disease that can confirm your diagnosis and give you their recommendations on what would be the best treatments for you or your child, you will significantly increase the probabilities of a great outcome. We will show you how to find those key centers, and how to communicate with them. The inspiration for this book came from two moms I met many years ago during a stay at the Ronald McDonald House in Manhattan. These women had initially been at hospitals that claimed they were quite capable of handling the cancer in question, neuroblastoma. But in both cases the children were misdiagnosed. The first mother told me that “they gave my girl the wrong chemo.” She realized the problem quickly and brought her daughter to the east coast. The second mom said the same thing happened to her, “but we paid a much higher price. I lost my son. They were winging it.” I believe hope is a function of options. I discovered this when I lost my own hope during my daughter’s fight with cancer. It was a dark and debilitating period for me, and I can only imagine what it was like for Calli. At the time, she was going through huge levels of chemo to kill her cancer and the chemo wasn’t working. It felt like it was the end of the line. However, as soon as we discovered a new option, hope returned.
About the author
Frank Kalman is the founder of the Kids’ Cancer Research Foundation. Mr. Kalman founded the organization in response to the tremendous challenge he witnessed in his daughter Calli’s and so many other children’s battle with neuroblastoma and in meeting the many dedicated medical researchers working to cure the disease. Mr. Kalman received his undergraduate degree in Marketing/Business and worked in the marketing department of American Honda Motor Company, Auto Division for several years.