Michelle Langbehn. Photo: Natural Grace Photography, via Washington Post
Michelle Langbehn has a rare form of cancer that affects about 1% of U.S. cancer patients. She was diagnosed in April 2012, shortly after giving birth to her daughter. She was 29.
She spoke to the Washington Post about how the government shutdown has affected her. The short version: she can't get the life-saving treatment she needs; a clinical trial that provides an option in a case where other more well-established treatment protocols have failed.
The Washington Post's Sarah Kliff explains:
After nine months of chemotherapy, she and her doctor began looking into other potential treatment options, including a trial at the National Institutes of Health. Langbehn began filling out the paperwork to apply last month. Things were going well until late September, when she got a call from the NIH: If the government shut down, the trial would not accept new patients. Now, she is among an estimated 200 patients turned away each week from clinical trials there. Langbehn has started a petition asking the government to re-open the treatment option.
“This was not supposed to happen. Nobody wanted the shutdown to happen," says Langbehn. "If I had a message, it would be that lives are at stake.”
“This is a matter of life or death. I’m not just doing this for myself. There are 200 people that are trying to get into clinical trials each week. I want to speak for all of us.”
"People don’t want to be enrolled because they're doing well," Langbehn says. "They’re looking because of something that's wrong. For them to have that taken away, it almost makes you want to lose hope in a way."
Related Boing Boing posts:
• "US gov shutdown may mean some kids with cancer won't be treated, CDC's outbreak detection programs also halted"
• "Meet two cancer patients whose treatment is on hold due to US gov shutdown: an 8yo girl, and a father of 3"
A new report out today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says cancer is now the leading cause of death in California and 21 other states, surpassing heart disease. Back in the early 2000s, only Alaska and Minnesota lost more lives to cancer than heart disease. And back in the 1950s, heart disease […]
Scientists are recruiting thousands of women for a large clinical trial to find out if weight loss should be prescribed as a treatment for breast cancer in some patients. The trial will put obese and overweight women who are 18 and older and recently diagnosed with breast cancer on diets and track exercise to see […]
Colombia wants to produce Novartis’s leukemia drug imatinib under a compulsory license, something it is allowed to do under its trade agreement with the USA, to bring the price down from $15,161/year (double the annual average income) to prices like those charged in India ($803/year).
If you’re looking to earn a top salary in the tech industry, there’s no better career than coding. However, sometimes the hardest part of entering this career path is knowing where to begin.We took the Complete Web Developer Course because it took that decision out of our hands. This course teaches beginner-friendly coding languages that will also help land an immediate […]
To be a Pokémon master, you’ll need a phone that won’t constantly die on you. Because nothing is worse than seeing the screen go black right as you’ve finally found the Charizard of your dreams.That’s why we’re so excited about the LinearFlux PokeCharger Portable Battery ($39.99). With its 3.0 Amp HyperCharging technology, this slim battery will […]
The tech industry is constantly innovating, and in order to stay competitive, you’ll need to keep up. The Programming Into the Future Bundle was created to teach you the skills employers are looking for at this very moment, including in-demand coding languages like Google Go.The bundle of courses includes instruction on a range of innovative tools that advanced coders […]