“When you meet the one who changes the way your heart beats, dance with them to that rhythm for as long as the song lasts.” Kirk Diedrich
Let me tell you the story of an amazing woman, couple, family that I know. My family will be participating in a 5K run/walk that they have organized. The woman is Dr. Amy Reed, an anesthesiologist, a mother of six, a wife, daughter, sister, friend. Her husband is Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, a cardio-thoracic transplant surgeon. Hooman grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia with my husband, and they spent their childhood years and teens as best friends. Many of their weekends entailed going to each other’s homes, walking to the local Wa-Wa convenience store to buy magazines and snacks, and sharing hours discussing future dreams.
I first met Hooman around 1996, within the first year that my husband and I were dating. He greeted me with open arms, a welcoming embrace, the warmest eyes and widest smile. He was so excited to meet his childhood friend’s girlfriend, knowing that whoever I was, his friend had fallen hard for a girl, just like he recently had.
Amy and Hooman had started dating around the same time that we had, and got married a couple of years after us. We had our first-borns, boys for both families, within a couple of months of each other in 2001. From 2001 to 2006, my husband and I had a total of 3 kids, 2 boys and a girl, completing our family. From 2001 to 2012, Amy and Hooman had 6 kids, 4 boys and 2 girls, all while both completing M.D./Ph. D.’s and residencies and fellowships. Our family moved to Los Angeles and continued on its happy journey, while Amy and Hooman’s family moved to Boston before their journey took a drastic turn.
In October of 2013, Amy underwent surgery to have what were thought to be benign uterine fibroids removed. Eight days later, she received a call that the pathology had come back as cancer, a leiomyosarcoma. The tool that was used to help remove her uterus, called a morcellator, had actually caused the cancer to spread throughout her body during her procedure, advancing her cancer from a stage 1 to a stage 4 cancer. 85% of women with stage 4 leiomyosarcoma die within 5 years of diagnosis.
Over the last two years, Amy and Hooman have tirelessly waged a battle to try to get the FDA to ban the use of the morcellator in Minimally Invasive Robot Assisted Hysterectomy, all while raising their 6 kids and working. Since they started bringing awareness to Amy’s story, other women whose cancer was spread and upstaged by the morcellator have also come forward. At the end of this post, there are multiple links to their petition and their story. Amy’s cancer has currently spread to her spine, and no one knows how much more time she has with her 6 beautiful kids and her extended family. While she is living every day that she has with her kids to the fullest, she is still taking the time to ensure that other women will not be at risk of having their cancers potentially spread due to use of a morcellator.
The Second Annual Slay Sarcoma 5K Run/Walk, organized by Amy’s family, will be on Saturday October 17th, 2015 in Pennsylvania, but my family will be doing it as a virtual walk/run from where we live. All proceeds are donated to funding research specifically on fighting leiomyosarcoma. My family will donate and sponsor your run, if you just read and bring awareness to Amy’s story and cause. You walk/run by yourself or preferably with your kids from anywhere in the U. S., and we will donate the money for all of you. You have ten family members who want to run or walk, we will gladly donate the registration fee for all of them. I have created a team called the Hassouri/DadvandFamily team with password slaysarcoma. You can join our team from anywhere that you are.
If you would like to join us, then you can either go on the contact me link in my blog home page, or send me a private message through my Facebook messenger, and I will get the information I need to register you and your family and have your race shirts and bibs sent to you. I promise to not send your private information to anyone. If you register yourself, I don’t have a way of covering your cost. I hope you will join us in spreading awareness to this cause.
Please visit the following links to read a little bit more about the Slay Sarcoma 5K, and more about Amy’s story and what she and her family have managed to accomplish to help prevent further unnecessary death.
If you’d like to learn more about the morcellator and Amy’s fight, you can directly click on any of the links below:
An MSNBC segment on FBI Investigating the Morcellator , a video clip that features Amy Reed.
Change.org , the link to Amy and Hooman’s petition to ban the morcellator. This site also includes many more news links than what I am including on my blog for those interested in learning more.