By Kathy Walsh


DENVER (CBS4) – Cancer patients, desperate to find a clinical trial and a way to cover costs, are turning to a unique charity out of California. The mission of Lazarex Cancer Foundation is to give every person the opportunity to live.

Cindy Schlager (credit: CBS)

Cindy Schlager is a grateful cancer survivor. She dances five days a week at the Mapleton YMCA in Boulder. She’s got the beat and the fancy footwork, but 69-year-old Cindy will tell you, the best move she ever made was finding help in her dance with cancer through Lazarex.

(credit: CBS)

“They helped save my life,” Cindy told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

In 2013, Cindy was successfully treated for breast cancer.

“I was cancer free by 2014. I was done with that,” she said.

But in 2015, she was diagnosed with anal cancer and after surgery, radiation and chemotherapy the cancer had grown.

(credit: CBS)

“They weren’t very hopeful. They gave me six months to a year,” Cindy explained.

Cindy qualified for a clinical trial at MD Anderson traveling to Houston every three weeks for two years, but Cindy was scared.

“It would have run through all of our savings in two years of this,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

Then a friend told Cindy about Lazarex. After watching her brother-in-law battle cancer, Dana Dornsife founded the charity to help cancer patients find clinical trials and to help pay their travel expenses.

“It was like I had a little angel,” said Cindy.

Lazarex paid for Cindy’s air fare, hotel and taxis … she estimates about $13,000 total.

“They made it possible for me to relax and get healed,” said Cindy with a smile.

Cindy isn’t cancer-free, but she’s been stable for a year and healthy enough to do a happy dance in celebration of survival.

(credit: CBS)

Lazarex breaks barriers to cancer treatment, and it also helps enrollment in clinical trials which offer opportunities to find new treatments.

A fundraiser, Lazarex Impact 5.44k, is scheduled for April 27, 2019.  Basically, it is a virtual run/walk that allows any participant to take part wherever they are located (i.e. run on a treadmill in New York, walk a path in Nebraska, or run on the road in Denver).

The goal is to get people to raise money, post on social media (#Lazarex544k) and generate awareness about this issue and the fact that clinical trials are, on average, 544 miles away from a patient’s home.

LINK: Lazarex Fundraiser

Kathy Walsh

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