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Summary

In 2017, David got what he thought was a mild touch of the flu. This book is the story of why David would make a lousy doctor. 

Contrary to the book’s title, David had lymphoma and it was terminal. But A Mild Touch of the Cancer isn’t your standard "how I survived" compendium. It is a hilarious tale, written while battling one of life’s greatest challenges. It’s a book about living with optimism and positivity, by a self-proclaimed Genetically Modified Organism. 

David’s book documents a year of gruelling treatment, which at one point nearly made him sell his house in order to raise the necessary $1M for trial CAR-T cell treatment in Boston, US. It was this treatment that saved his life. It’s not just a book for those living with cancer - it’s for anyone that enjoys an uplifting story of survival against the odds - and a good laugh.

©2019 David Downs (P)2019 David Downs

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  • Anonymous User
  • 29-08-19

Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer

It was fantastic to hear David's own voice as he shares his incredible story.

Having worked with David for many years I am always inspired by his curiosity, growth mindset and sense of humour. As David was battling cancer I was an avid reader of his column in Stuff and personal posts on Facebook. As David embarked on his experimental journey into immunotherapy and CAR-T I became fascinated in the history of cancer and how technology was evolving to unlock it's secrets and enable our bodies own immune system to identify and fight cancer. I found myself reading The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer to understand the new technology more deeply and The Emperor of all Maladies to understand cancers past. My only hope now is that we can reduce the cost of sequencing a person's gnome and the tumours in a way that brings CAR-T treatment to the masses.

In the words of Modest Mouse (David if you're reading this I assume you've moved on from Pharrell Williams now):

It's hard to remember, it's hard to remember
We're alive for the first time
It's hard to remember were alive for the last time
It's hard to remember, it's hard to remember
To live before you die
It's hard to remember, it's hard to remember
That our lives are such a short time
It's hard to remember, it's hard to remember
When it takes such a long time
It's hard to remember, it's hard to remember

Thank you for documenting your inspiring and personal journey through what may become the future of cancer treatment for every person on the planet.

P.S. How did that follow-up phone call with the health insurance company go?