Elise Gaudino lost her father to brain cancer when she was only 13 years old. Diving deeply into her passion – dance – got her through it. Perhaps, then, it’s no surprise that dance has also kept her going after her own glioblastoma diagnosis decades later, at age 39.
“Dance is what prepared me. Being a dancer, it trains you for incredible situations,” she says. “You just don't quit. You don't quit.”
In 2010 Kevin Walter, M.D., performed surgery and within a week, she was back teaching dance. She had additional chemotherapy and missed as little work as possible. After a long remission, the cancer returned in 2016, which required a second surgery. Her oncology team, led by Nimish Mohile, M.D., and Jennifer Serventi, PA-CMS, asked if she would be interested in a clinical trial.
She was a bit unsure at first but decided to enroll after learning that the costs of treatment, blood work, and MRIs would be covered by the company sponsoring the trial. Elise has insurance, but being self-employed meant certain services could be expensive.
Her motivations were not just financial, though — she’s glad she volunteered to help advance treatment for glioblastoma.
“You could be a part of something incredible that works,” she says about her clinical trial experience.
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