Patient establishes cancer research fund to honor her doctor

A patient appreciative of her doctor, Thomas E. Coyle, MD, is raising money for brain cancer research at Upstate Medical University.

Debbie Gregg established Debbie’s Brain Cancer Research Fund at the Foundation for Upstate Medical University in honor of Dr. Coyle and his dedication to the field of neuro-oncology. More than $22,000 had been contributed to the fund as of late July.

Gregg was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma, brain cancer in January 2008, and Dr. Coyle has cared for her ever since. He is a professor of medicine and neurology specializing in brain tumors. He is conducting research into the cellular mechanisms underlying the development and treatment of malignant brain tumors.

“I had no symptoms. I never had headaches,” Gregg said. “Just one day, thank God a friend of mine called as I was walking out the door to drive somewhere. As I was on the phone with her, all of a sudden I had a seizure.”

Today Debbie has five lesions or tumors, “and they have legs that go out like a spider,” she said. They are inoperable. She uses a cane on stairs, a walker throughout her house and a wheelchair if she travels any distance. For someone who was active all her life, playing tennis, running and bicycling, Gregg said the inactivity is most frustrating.

“I just want to get up. I’ve never been one to sit still. I’ve always been very active,” she said. “I can’t even garden. That was my therapy, being in my garden.”

Donations to Debbie’s Brain Cancer Research Fund are tax deductible. Gregg will have one of the infusion stations named in her honor in the new Upstate Cancer Center.

-Taken from Amber Smith’s blog, What’s Up at Upstate.

Caption: Debbie Gregg and family under the Team Debbie tent at the Cazenovia July 4 Foot Races

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