Cancer patient sacrificing self to help find cure - FOX 32 News Chicago

Cancer patient sacrificing self to help find cure

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

A woman battling a rare form of breast cancer is making what could be the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of other women.

Dr. Kimberly Koss is teaming up with researchers at Loyola University's School of Medicine to help find a cure. She's driven by her background as a scientist, as well as her own family.

“I was devastated, absolutely devastated, immobilized, angry, grief stricken,” Koss said.

When Koss learned she had been diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, she wasn't sure how she would cope. But after sharing the news with her friend and former scientific colleague Keith Jones, who now chairs a research department at Loyola University that focuses on cancer, Koss knew what she needed to do.

She delayed having chemotherapy so the cancerous cells could be removed unharmed and used for research that could lead to a vaccine.

“I realized that if not me, who and when because the clock is ticking for my daughter and granddaughters and the Myriad sisters who don't have hope for this terrible type of breast cancer,” said Koss.

Dr. Jones believes Koss was not only brave, but risked her own life to provide the ultimate pay-it-forward

“She probably increased the likelihood of the tumors spreading, she delayed her chemotherapy so that would have allowed more spreading and potentially worse disease,” Jones said.

Koss' sacrifice has paved the way for ground breaking research.

"We have to figure out what has gone awry in these cells, to do that we have to have a model. So, the opportunity then is to understand this category of breast cancer to find new targets for therapy and to develop new drugs that can be used for these 10 or 15 percent of women that don't have great therapeutic options,” said Jones.

Koss added, “I see this as God giving me the groundwork, the training, the expertise the education and all of the successes that I've had as a cellular researcher and the ability, the insight to see the possible as not only possible, but we're developing that now into the probable.”

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