Medical fundraiser for sf writer Jay Lake

Mary Robinette Kowal sez, "Jay Lake is an award-winning American author of ten science fiction novels and over 300 short stories. He is also one of more than a million Americans who have colon cancer. Diagnosed in April, 2008, Jay's cancer has progressed from a single tumor to metastatic disease affecting the lung and liver, recurring after multiple surgeries and chemotherapy courses, and multiplying from single tumor presentations to multiple tumors presentations. Jay is now in his fourth round of chemotherapy, but it's not clear that it's working, and his doctors have little to go on in terms of advising further courses of treatment for him. In short, things are not looking good for Jay. Not at all. A group of science fiction and fantasy authors have joined forces to raise funds for Jay Lake by committing Acts of Whimsy on the internet. These range from Cherie Priest's Steampunk fashion show for pets to Neil Gaiman's cover of a Magnetic Fields song on the ukulele."

The money will go for a whole-genome sequencing for Jay, which may point to more effective treatment avenues. I put in $200. I hope you'll help, too.

Sequence a Science Fiction Writer


  1. Whole genome sequencing as a method of selecting ones next anti cancer agent is best considered an experimental approach both as a strategy in of itself, but it may also ‘recommend’ a drug not usually/ever used in metastatic colon cancer.  I would therefore only recommend this approach in the context of a properly run clinical trial.

    1. If I’m reading your comment correctly, you are viewing the “recommendation” of a drug not normally used for the purpose as a bug, not a feature. I believe this is a point Jay addressed in a recent blog post.

      “Basically, the concept is that not all cancers have the same genetic signature as implied by their presentation. In other words, a cancer which is phenotypically colon cancer might actually be liver cancer genetically. Since cancer drugs for the most part target genetic signatures, establishing that my cancer did not conform to colon cancer’s template would indicate a different course of treatment normally appropriate for the cancer that it is more closely genetically aligned with. As my cancer has been rather idiosyncratic in both its presentations and its response to treatment, this is not an unreasonable thing to check for.”

  2. Wow – they’ve hit their initial goal and are well into the stretch goals, with 33 days left on the fundraiser.  I hope there’s some mechanism for them to get started with the sequencing immediately, rather than waiting until their 33 days are left?

    1. There is. That’s one of the reasons we went with this website. The funds are transferred to Jay immediately. He has surgery scheduled already.

      We set our funding goal at the bare minimum needed, but there are still other expenses that his insurance won’t cover.

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