Magical Mystery Guest

In this case: V is for Victory!

It’s that time of year again when we  reflect on those special people who have impacted our lives  in a meaningful way.

Back in March of 2006, I went into the hospital for a fairly straightforward biopsy procedure.

When I awoke from the anesthesia, I saw my wife (Kathleen)  crying as she had already learned what I was soon to hear……that despite not having any symptoms at the time,  I was deemed to  have Metastatic Melanoma and was classified as being Stage IV.

Thanks to Dr. Joe Moore (Duke Doctor and fellow The V Foundation Board Member), I was able to get  examined quickly  at the Duke Cancer Center where biopsy results  confirmed that I had 30 tumors in my liver.  The prognosis was not good as I was given 11 months to live and was advised, “go home and get my financial affairs in order”.

However, thanks to my  determined wife and my nurses and doctors at Duke  who would not let me “give up”, we began an 8 month treatment ordeal which was the most arduous  thing I have ever experienced.

I don’t think I would have survived if it hadn’t been for Kathleen’s dedication, determination and care-giving  skills as well as the daily visits by Dr. Moore and Nick/Karen Valvano.

As  you consider whether or not  to contribute to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, please know that every dollar you contribute brings us one step closer to a finding a cure.

The IL-2 (Interleukin 2) drug I utilized  didn’t exist but a few short years ago.   Thanks to ongoing  cancer research, the IL-2 was available when I really  needed it most.

You want to know what happiness really looks like?   Here’s a picture of Kathleen and me in front of the Duke Cancer Center on the day I was discharged having just been told I was in remission.



Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you all.

Harry Rhoads, Jr.
4-time cancer survivor and
The V Foundation Board Member