Editor’s note: Larry Clark passed away in May 2018, but his legacy lives on through his profound impact on the pancreatic cancer community. We hope his story, shared here, inspires others to Demand Better for everyone affected by pancreatic cancer.
As a nearly four-year pancreatic cancer survivor who has battled nine recurrences of the disease, retired Mayor Larry Clark is a beacon of hope to others facing the disease.
His approach to managing an aggressive stage IV disease is to stay informed about available treatment options. He even has Google Alerts set to tell him about treatment advances and other research findings to help him be as proactive and knowledgeable as possible.
Larry also has a treatment strategy. “I always have an idea of what treatment may work next in case the current one doesn’t. For most people with this disease, it’s not a one-and-done type situation. I always have backup plans A, B and C.”
Clinical trials are an important part of his strategy. “I can’t stress enough how important it is to consider clinical trials as part of pancreatic cancer treatment. It’s one major reason why I’m alive and doing well today, along with excellent care from Dr. Nicholas Nissen and my ‘Dream Team’ of specialists.” Larry has participated in two trials. He believes one trial strengthened his immune system and kept his cancer from recurring for one year.
Larry strongly advocates for everyone diagnosed with pancreatic cancer to explore available trials through our online Clinical Trial Finder tool. PanCAN Patient Services Case Managers are also available to run personalized clinical trial searches.
His message for patients considering clinical trials is powerful: “Do not be fearful. The most advanced treatment protocols and opportunities to help are found in clinical trials. What do you have to lose?”
Larry wants others battling the disease to know, “You can survive this disease, but first you need to believe you can survive, and you must have the best medical support you can get. Never give up. Believe you can beat this disease and never give up.”
We’re here to help. Contact a PanCAN Patient Services Case Manager for in-depth details about clinical trials and to get your questions answered. Case Managers are available Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pacific Time.