LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A local non-profit foundation is offering people battling end-stage cancer alternative options and financial support.
CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Michele Gile spoke with Dana Dornsife, who founded the Lazarex Cancer Foundation after watching her brother-in-law, Mike Miller, succumb to pancreatic cancer at 42.
When Miller was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and given months to live she dedicated herself to finding alternative treatments so he’d have more time with his wife and three young children. Miller was enrolled in a clinical trial and flown to the Philippines for treatment. As a result, several of his tumors disappeared. He died a year and a half later because of complications from organ failure.
“It’s just fundamentally and morally wrong that my brother-in-law got to live for 19 months, take advantage of medical breakthroughs and technology and clinical trials because I could write a check,” Dornsife said. “These other people, they’re loved just as much by their family and friends and I just said, ‘You know, when I get through this, one way or another, I’m going to do something about this.”
Since Miller’s death, Dana has fought tirelessly for improved options for cancer patients who have been told there is no hope left.
She founded Lazarex in 2006, which strives to help late-stage cancer patients pay for alternative treatment and cover other costs they’re struggling with.
“When you’ve been fighting the disease for a long time you’re spent in many ways: emotionally, physically, spiritually and, unfortunately, most often financially,” said Dornsife, whose name is known to the University of Southern California community after she and her husband, David, donated a record $200 million to the school.
The foundation is holding its inaugural celebration Sunday at The Depot restaurant in Torrance. For more information go to Lazarex.org.