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Brad Silver - minute 40:35 - ASCO 2018

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Brad Silver - minute 40:35 - ASCO 2018 - Phase 1 trial patient

Hi there everyone. My name’s Brad Silver. I was an aquatic athlete. I come from Huntington Beach, California. I was an all-American swimmer, all-American water polo player. I was on an athletic scholarship for college. I played all over Europe, and also played in the Maccabiah Games in 1993, and again in 2001. And, in 2003, I was in my lifeguard unit, driving on the beach, and I had a major headache. First time in fifteen years that I actually went home sick ‘cause I had to. And got home, ran and saw my doctor. He said, “You have a migraine headache. Here’s your migraine meds.” I took those, felt better, but had that same headache two days later. Went to go see another doctor and he also said, “I think you have a migraine, but I’m not a neurologist.” He sent me to a neurologist. That doctor decided for me to go get an EEG, have lab work, and an MRI. All of my lab work was clean, the EEG showed that the left side of my brain was no longer working, and the MRI showed a golf-ball-sized tumor in my left frontal lobe. That was fifteen years ago. Not bad.

I’m really lucky because when I went to my first doctor, who did my biopsy, he told me surgery couldn’t be done. At that point, I had a two-year-old daughter, my wife was eight months pregnant with our second child, and I decided to ask a new doctor … A) can you do surgery? and B) what do you have for a clinical trial? And luckily, I had Dr. Linda Liau at UCLA, and had a great surgery. Started radiation. Finished that. Took my break, and got my first opportunity to get my shot of the DCVax. When I was forced to be on all of the other things, my side-effects from the chemo, radiation, I had a really hard time being the old me. When I had my shots, ‘cause I’d always have a one month break from chemo to get my booster shots and my initial shot, those were the times that it felt like I didn’t have cancer. I had all my energy back. I didn’t have concerns. I didn’t have to change myself. And that continued to go on, and on.

After two years, they said, “Let’s go for a little longer. Keep doing your MRI every three months.” And then at five years, they said, “Alright, now let’s start to do it every six months.” And I got to ten years, and they said, “How ‘bout every year or so?”

And the beauty of it is, it has allowed me to, one - I got to see my son be born. He was born nine days after my surgery. We walked into the hospital with my wife. She was having a C-Section so we could make sure I would get to see my son. And I had forty stitches on my head. And the nurse in the front looks at me and says, “Sir, I think you’re in the wrong area.” And I said, “No I’m here to see my son be born.” Great part, yeah, I was tired nine days after surgery. I’d laid in a bed next to my wife, but I got to be there. And [two] -I got to continue to be me.

When I did get through that first two years, and I was done with anything except for booster shots, I sat with a great friend, and he said, “You know what? It’s time for you to go back to living your life as you. Stop thinking you need to live your life around your cancer.” And that’s what it did for me. It opened my mind, opened my heart to make sure I could go back to being the silly old me. But the silly old me is a dad, a teacher, a coach. I’m a very happy person. And for fifteen years, you’re seeing one up here, but in ten or more years, I really hope you see a lot more people who have gone through this DCVax-L. I’m blessed. I feel that it keeps me here. And I want to share it with so many people to have you share it with others too. Please, let them know, even as strange as I am. I’m here. And I really hope more are. Thank you.


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