Meet Carmen Rice: A Courageous and Inspirational GBM Survivor - NFCR

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Meet Carmen Rice: A Courageous and Inspirational GBM Survivor

This year marks the 13th anniversary of Carmen Rice’s survival from Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) – the deadliest brain cancer that is widely regarded as incurable and universally fatal. GBM kills 91% of patients within three years of diagnosis and NFCR is part of a robust, international coalition working on innovative ways to research the disease. In the cancer research world, too often stories do not have optimistic endings, which is why our work continues until we find cures. Yet Carmen’s thirteen-year survival is nothing less than miraculous and we are truly honored to share her incredible story with you.

Carmen’s Story

In 2004, Carmen Rice began experiencing severe headaches, nausea and dizziness.  She remembers having lunch in a local restaurant and a moment later waking up in the hospital bed not knowing what happened or how she got there. She had a grand mal seizure.  Scans revealed a small brain tumor.  Days later, Carmen underwent brain surgery to remove the tumor.

The tumor removed proved to be GBM, a very aggressive, malignant tumor. Carmen was told she had only six months to live. Terrified, yet determined to beat this, she began an aggressive treatment regimen of radiation and chemotherapy.

Carmen remained in remission until 2008, when during a routine check-up, a new growth appeared in the same site as the original tumor. Since GBMs tend to return to the same site as the original tumor, Carmen and her doctors assumed this was a recurrence. In December 2008, Carmen underwent her second brain surgery. She spent Christmas and New Year’s in the hospital praying that she would once again recover. Her prayers were answered when the final pathology reported that this new growth was not malignant.
“There are amazing new discoveries being made each day. Thank you NFCR, donors, advocates, doctors and scientists for saving the lives of so many people like me. You give me hope and inspiration to move forward.” –Carmen Rice

(Left to Right) NFCR CEO Franklin C. Salisbury, Jr., NFCR President Dr. Sujuan Ba, Carmen Rice and Darrell Rice.

Fast forward to today, Carmen continues to live a happy, healthy and active life. She enjoys every moment and is an enthusiastic speaker within the cancer community, inspiring others with her positive outlook and message of hope. Carmen talks about how grateful she is to NFCR for the groundbreaking research done in the GBM field.

In her latest speech about her survival story, Carmen passionately discussed NFCR and her support of our work – specifically GBM AGILE.  Carmen is confident – as are we – that together we will find a cure for GBM.

Today’s Research Will Lead to Tomorrow’s Cures

GBM AGILE

Led by the best and brightest cancer researchers, GBM AGILE is a revolutionary global collaboration to test and develop new brain cancer treatments.  Its personalized approach will allow us to accelerate the discovery of targeted treatments for individual patients.

This global coalition has attracted over 150 participants from more than 40 leading cancer institutions across three continents. It implements a new generation of clinical trials – called “adaptive trials” – which allow patients to be enrolled more quickly, receive treatment with multiple anti-cancer drugs simultaneously and does not require years of follow-up to determine whether a new experimental treatment is beneficial. This revolutionary approach accelerates research for curing the aggressive form of cancer GBM and will serve as a new clinical research model for combating other cancers as well. As a founding member of the coalition, NFCR has continued to take a leading role in this unprecedented effort. It is anticipated that patient enrollment may start in the fall of 2017. Stayed tuned!

Comments(4)

  1. REPLY
    kimberly anderson says

    My husband was diagnosed with GBM at the age of 66 10/02/2017….we were swept up by an ambulance after we went to the VA Hospital in Lake City,Fl…I am and have been terrified since then..it ALREADY has growth, again

  2. REPLY
    Kris Kent says

    My wife AGE 59 HAD A grand mal seizure 2/24/20. Hospitalized 5 days where MRI indicated GBM. Surgery 3/6/20 followed by 3cweeks of radiation and temorizador chemo tx. The tumor was all removed and they said the size was 1cm. Now we wait for the next MRI on 6/10 hoping and praying this tumor does not return. My whole life c g anged that day. My wife is a hospice social worker. Due to Covid 19 employees are not allowed to visit pts. So she can work from home. Initially she list her license for 6 months but got it back because the doctors told the state of PA it was GBM and not a seizure disorder. For three months we had drivers. She has a slight tremor in her right hand. She is on seizure medication called keppra 500mg BID

  3. REPLY
    John Bordelon says

    I was diagnosed with GBM in December 2020. I was having headaches and bad memory. I finally listened to my wife and went to the hospital. I was told I had a brain tumor. After surgery and treatment I was told I could do greater exercise. I worked out daily and walked two miles daily. When I went back the tumor was gone, no regrowth, very little swelling. Things are looking good and my doctors were impressed I suffered no side effects of any kind. The bottom line is God is Good. I pray many times everyday and I just believe God will deliver me from this and give me a long life. My doctor once told me that my positive attitude actually boosts my immune system. The one thing I would really want to share is the vegetables I consume and one in particular. The one vegetable that could alter your outcome is broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts contain Sulforaphane a supplement that kills or slows the growth of a tumor significantly. Buy some broccoli sprouts, clean them well and then freeze them. The next day put them in a blender with a cup of orange juice and drink. For some the taste is not great but it is bearable. Look up the effects of Sulforaphane only then will you understand the benefits of what I am saying. Be blessed and have a long life.

  4. REPLY
    Mike Stanley says

    I was diagnosed with glioblastoma in February 2019, surgery the next week. Chemo and radiation 30 days after surgery. 42 days of chemo while doing radiation for 30 days concurrently. I was good and had MRIs Every 2-3 months. Finally in September 2020something was growing back in the same location. It was continually getting bigger so my doctors recommended it was time to clean it out again. The biopsies came back with good results. It was mainly radiation necrosis and treatment effect. There were a few abnormal cells but not enough to need to have more treatment at that time.
    Then came this year and on may 11, I had another surgery because it was growing again. Again this time it was good, more radiation necrosis and treatment effect. I had another MRI this week and it has grown again already. There is also significant swelling in my brain. More likely than not it is more of the same, but it still causes symptoms, like headaches and fatigue and my doctor said it can cause lack of motivation and mood changes.
    I have a couple options at this time. There is an injection of avistin that should stop the growth of the radiation necrosis and possibly keep it cleaned up for a while -6-9 months he said.
    OptioN 2 another surgery – craniotomy. This would be number 4. The good thing with this is we will know for sure what it is and then if it is tumor/cancer we would be able to know what the treatment options are. The bad thing is that every surgery has a lot of risks and the more that are done the more it effects your brain. Any experiences with this and opinions are welcomed. I am going to have an appointment next week with the surgeon and get his thoughts also. Then make a decision. My oncologist and surgeon are both amazing and I completely trust them to make the right recommendations.

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