The Medical Team
CITY OF HOPE
Emily is receiving treatment at City of Hope, one of the top cancer hospitals in the country. Located in Duarte, California, about an hour’s drive away, this state-of-the-art comprehensive cancer center and research facility combines cutting edge technology with compassionate care. Miles is impressed with the aggressive treatment plan they have designed for Emily and how they have sought assistance nationwide to assist in her case. Emily, meanwhile, enjoys the perks of her “cancer spa” such as valet parking, a personally assigned concierge, minimal wait times, heated blankets, private treatment rooms, great food and coffee, a weekly farmer’s market, and an amazing staff.
Dr. Karen Reckamp, Oncologist
University of Chicago, UCLA
& Carrie Christiansen, Certified Family Nurse Practitioner
Dr. Raja Flores, Thoracic Surgeon Chief of Thoracic Surgery
Harvard, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Depending on the outcome of chemotherapy, Emily may be a candidate for surgery. If her expert care team of physicians determines that surgery is the best course of action, Dr. Flores would be the one to handle her case. He is a progressive surgeon who has pioneered incredible techniques that take recovery times from six weeks down to just a few days.
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS
Dr. David Gandara, Oncologist and Thoracic Oncology Program Director
University of Texas
Dr. Gandara is a leading lung oncologist and researcher. If MIT’s Foundation One (a molecular testing lab that is testing the 312 possible drivers of her cancer) can’t identify the driver gene, then Dr. Gandara will biopsy Emily’s lung and inject her tumor into mice to observe mutations and test treatments.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Dr. Karine Chung, Reproductive Specialist
NYU, University of Pennsylvania
Specializing in assisting women with cancer, Dr. Chung designed an accelerated fertility plan for Emily so as not to delay cancer treatment. The goal was to produce 8 fertilized eggs in just over a week of daily injections and visits. The overachievers finished strong: 9 eggs were successfully retrieved, fertilized, and frozen to give Emily and Miles the big family of their dreams.
Dr. Daniel Oh, Thoracic Surgeon
USC, University of Chicago
Dr. Kirit Gala, Oncologist
Father of Tejas, Miles’ teammate from Claremont-McKenna, Dr. Gala has provided critical insight and advice to help Emily and Miles understand their complex situation and guide them through the alternative paths to recovery.
BONNIE J. ADDARIO LUNG CANCER FOUNDATION
Danielle Hicks, Director of Patient Advocacy and Support
Danielle has devoted her life to the fight against lung cancer and now is helping Emily with her fight. This incredible woman was on her family vacation and took the time to review all of Emily’s medical records and connect her with Dr. Gandara.
The Family Team
The Emily Taylors, aka EmTay & EmBen
EmTay’s ridiculously active social life and Facebook page of thousands of “friends” have been fodder for jokes over the years, but no longer. At the news of EmBen’s tumor, EmTay hit her network, and through friends and friends-of-friends, connected her sister-in-law with the finest medical resources and experts in the country. Miles and EmBen have vowed to pay it forward when they get through this to help others access the quality of care they have been privileged to receive.
Shelley & Kevin Bennett
Emily’s parents are the source of her spiritual strength and guidance. They held her hands through the initial weeks of medical discovery, and now continue to provide daily support from their home in Memphis via calls, texts, emails, and cards. Their messages bring Emily a sense of peace and focus and allow her to get a good night’s sleep. Though they shed tears for the trials that their daughter will endure, Kevin and Shelley never waiver in their firm belief that she will, as always, triumph.
Michele & Rich Taylor
Miles’ parents arrived when the tumor was discovered and seem to have adopted the position that they will leave when the tumor leaves. Michele has taken on the dirty work — Emily’s injections, Ginny’s tail ointment, sterilizing the apartment – and is the keeper of the lists, pages of reminders and tasks to keep Emily safe and comfortable. Rich runs errands, fixes problems, and is the keeper of Emily’s weight. Determined that his daughter-in-law will defy chemo tradition by gaining weight rather than losing it, Rich shops, chops, and grills until Emily, who can eat like a horse, can’t take another bite; then he makes her weigh in so he can record it in both pounds and kilograms.
Annie [Daun] Meyer, Webmaster
Emily and I met nearly a decade ago as rookies on the CMS Volleyball team. We became fast friends and my life was forever changed for the better. Over the years our minds developed a tendency to operate in parallel as we’d frequently think, say, or do the same thing at the same time (not to mention all those instances we’d show up separately to events dressed in matching outfits). Strangers often mistake us for sisters which tickles me to no end. I consider Emily to be the sister that I never had and would do absolutely anything for her. That used to mean covering her under the block on the volleyball court while she crushed balls at our opponent. Now I’m covering her story via this blog while she crushes cancer. I love you BT 🙂