Clara's Story

Dear Family and Friends,

It took my loving daughter, Clara, to point out to me that I had not updated my personal page in quite some time and as today is Thanksgiving Day 2018,  there is no more appropriate time...so here goes!  It will be six years ago on Monday that Clara came into Rex Hospital to deliver her second daughter, Abby.  It was her due date but she was not in labor...rather, her doctor, Dr. Eloise Watson, brought her in because of severe headaches and concern that perhaps she may need to have labor induced.  Clara was evaluated during the course of the day but our amazing Dr. Watson still felt her symptoms were a bit peculiar.  She ordered a MRI before starting pitocin, the first of many lifesaving blessings.  This test showed that Clara had a brain tumor (ultimately diagnosed as glioblastoma multiforme), would need an emergency delivery, followed by brain surgery.  This began our long journey as Clara’s family supporting her in her battle with brain cancer.

Clara came to Duke and we were again blessed to be in the care of wonderful surgeons, Drs. Henry and Allan Friedman, followed by the amazing Dr. Gordana Vlahovic.  I say amazing because she showed us such love and compassion as she battled to get Clara admitted to a clinical trial, a trial designed to trigger Clara’s own immune system to fight the cancer.  Clara endured surgery, radiation, leukopheresis and vaccine injections.  She was poked, prodded, scanned repeatedly and remained brave throughout all.

Today Clara is well...She has been so courageous on her journey and lives her life today caring for her husband Jason, daughters, Emily and Abby, and all the rest of us who make up her family and friends.

I have more than most to be thankful for this Thanksgiving Day and each of you who have reached out to us in love and kindness are a part of that.  It is my hope that you will stay with us on this journey.  We need your prayers and encouragement because the fear of cancer never goes away.  Duke needs our dollars to continue the research needed to improve treatment and find cures. 

Thank you for being one of Clara’s Angels,

Susan/Susie

Event Sponsors