Inspired by vaccine trial, cancer patient gives back

The Baltimore Sun

A patient in an experimental breast cancer vaccine trial, one that was the subject of a series in The Baltimore Sun, has raised more than $14,000 to go toward that research. She presented the check Friday to the doctor overseeing the study.

Darby Steadman, a Severna Park mother of two who received the vaccine for her metastatic breast cancer, presented the check to Dr. Leisha Emens, her Johns Hopkins oncologist.

Steadman and some friends held a December fundraiser that brought in most of the money. Emens said the money will help pay for things that grants don't cover, such as production of the actual vials of vaccine used in the trial.

Steadman, who is starting a foundation called Driving Miss Darby, hopes future fundraisers will help patients in trials by covering lodging and travel expenses for those who live out of town. She said she was inspired by the support she got from her large network of friends when she was in Emens' trial, and knows that not everyone could count on such help.

Emens, who attended the fundraiser, said she was "bowled over" by the event and the energy of the women who participated. "It was amazing to see people come together in tough times for an important cause," she said.

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