The Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation (DTRF), dedicated to funding research for a cure for desmoid tumors, is bringing its efforts to Chicago with its Live Without Limits fundraiser on May 14th at Mastro's Steakhouse.
The Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation (DTRF), dedicated to funding research for a cure for desmoid tumors, is bringing its efforts to Chicago with its Live Without Limits fundraiser. Hosted by Beth and Drew Bialko, a couple directly affected by the disease, the event will take place on May 14, from 6 to 9pm. Patients, family and friends will join together to show their support for desmoid tumor research. Guests will have the opportunity to bid on deluxe raffle items and participate in a silent auction. Special guest Marlene Portnoy, Executive Director for DTRF, will also be in attendance. The event, held at Mastro's Steakhouse on 520 N. Dearborn St., aims to create hope, promote awareness and support research for a cure.
Founded in 2005, the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation is the only foundation in the country dedicated to funding desmoid tumor research for a cure for this rare disease. Desmoid tumors have the ability to arise in virtually any part of the body, posing life-threatening problems when they compress vital organs. Because there is currently no cure for desmoid tumors, the research seeks to determine what generates the tumors, what medical and surgical options work best, and what drugs can provide effective treatments.
DTRF-funded research has already made significant advancements in the understanding of the disease, which can also potentially be applied to many other kinds of cancers, such as breast, colon, ovarian and other sarcoma cancers.
Chicago locals and Live Without Limits hosts Drew and Beth Bialko have been personally affected by the disease and have turned to DTRF for support and action. In November 2010, they noticed a lump on Drew's shoulder that quickly grew in a matter of weeks. After multiple doctor visits and biopsies, it was discovered that Drew had a desmoid tumor. "We were scared," says Beth Bialko, Drew's wife of seven years, "There wasn't a lot of information on desmoid tumors. It was hard to understand why this happened ... he had always been healthy."
Drew had surgery to remove the tumor in June 2011. By December, a follow-up scan showed the tumor had returned and was growing at an aggressive rate. In 2012, Drew started turning to treatments-drug therapy, which was ineffective, followed by six weeks of intense radiation. The couple felt helpless, until they discovered the Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation. According to Beth, "after two years of fighting this rare disease, we were tired of feeling like victims and decided to stop the challenges of treatment from becoming our way of life. We chose to live without limits."
For more information on DTRF and the Live Without Limits fundraiser, visit: http://dtrf.org. Tickets and online donations are available at dtrf.org/livewithoutlimits.
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