Editor’s Note: This article regarding Thomas Carroll and his family originally appeared in The V Foundation’s 2005 Annual Report. Sadly, Thomas Carroll lost his courageous battle with cancer on September 11, 2008. He was a dear friend of The V Foundation. Thomas’ passion, friendship and commitment to our cause served as an inspiration to all who knew him. While we mourn Thomas’ passing, we remember and celebrate his legacy with the reprinting of his family’s story.
PASSION, FRIENDSHIP AND COMMITMENT
For 13 years, people from all walks of life have supported the work of The V Foundation for Cancer Research. We are privileged to introduce you to Thomas Carroll Family of Middleburg, VA and to share his family’s poignant story about continuing the battle against cancer in the name of his son, Christopher.
Cancer is very personal…
“When your son is diagnosed with cancer, its painful. And personal. It’s difficult to talk about. All the emotions and the memories of watching my son fight this disease over eight to ten months begin to well up. It’s very hard,” said Thomas Carroll.
One of seven children, Christopher Carroll lost his battle against lung cancer in July 2001. He was 41.
“To describe Christopher would be to think of someone always in a good mood. He had a great sense of humor. He was extremely sensitive to everyone around him… Everyone loved him. There truly was not a mean bone in his body. He was kind, caring, sweet and funny,” explained Moira Carroll, Christopher’s youngest sister.
After Christopher passed away, Thomas Carroll and his family wanted to find a way to carry on his fight. Tom went to work. He looked at several cancer charities and then saw a newspaper article about The V Foundation. It piqued his interest.
“What impressed me about The V Foundation was that so much of the money they raise goes for research. They had an excellent rating from Charity Navigator,” Carroll continued.
“Then I looked at their Board and Scientific Committee. Very impressive. The Foundation raises the money. Then you have this group of distinguished researchers recommending where the funding should be used.”
The donations from The Christopher T. Carroll Memorial Fund to The V Foundation are used to fund the $300,000 translational grant awarded to Jeffrey Settleman, Ph.D. at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. Dr. Settleman’s three-year project is entitled “Mechanism of Acquired Resistance to Iressa in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.”
This translational research involves both laboratory and clinical approaches to tackle the problem of “acquired resistance” to Iressa in patients whose tumor initially responds to the drug, but subsequently recurs. Understanding the mechanism for this “acquired resistance” is essential to converting dramatic but temporary responses into lasting cures for this disease.
As Carroll explained, “The best tribute our family can give Christopher is to continue his fight against cancer. We can help others by supporting lung cancer research, and we do that with The V Foundation.”