Conquer Cancer- Wig Party
My name is Allison Kilfoy and at age 27 I was diagnosed with both uterine and ovarian cancer. After a traumatizing initial diagnosis, that left me with no hope, no options as far as treatment other than a full hysterectomy, and no options when it came to fertility preservation, I was devastated. I then contacted the University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center to see if they would take on my case and scheduled an appointment with Dr. David Bender. After meeting him and his team, I chose Dr. Bender and his team to care for my cancer diagnosis due to how personable they were, along with the research and care options they put together to treat me. Dr. Bender treated me and my family like his own family from the minute we met him. One of the most important aspects of how Dr. Bender conducts care is that he listens to the patient's perspective.
After doing research, the team determined I would not need a hysterectomy, and that I could do fertility preservation just in case it was needed in the future. I had multiple procedures as well as six rounds of chemotherapy to treat my diagnosis. Fast forward two years and I have now made it my mission to advocate, educate, and raise funds for the research group who helped give me life changing options. It is my hope that by raising awareness, people who hear of my story can also educate others. Ideally then, when we hear of women getting diagnosed with gynecological cancers, we can direct them to the care that the Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can offer.
The idea of the Wig Party started in December of 2017. I had just finished my last round of chemotherapy in late November. On that cold December Friday evening, around 100 of my friends, family, and support team showed up to celebrate life with me. Everyone wore wigs to symbolize that I was not alone in this fight, and for at least this night, not alone in wearing a wig. In December of 2018 I turned the Wig Party into a small fundraiser. We had about the same number of people show up, but the concept was more symbolic of everyone who is fighting.
The funds from this event are what kicked off my official Conquer Cancer fund of early 2019. Throughout 2019 I have realized sharing my story and raising funds for this research team is where my passion lies. I have spoken at two medical conferences about my story and how important the patient's perspective is. I have also listened to cancer researchers from the Holden Comprehensive Center at events discuss the findings they are seeing right here in the state of Iowa. Their work amazes me, and I want to continue to do my part in supporting the people who have supported me for the last few years.
I hope my story connects with you in one way or another, and I greatly appreciate your donations to this life changing cause!
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