Ms. Terri Conneran was diagnosed with stage III lung cancer in 2017. Considering the family history of breast cancer, she was getting screened for the same from her mid-20s. Her symptoms at first indicated ailments like asthma, pneumonia, and bronchitis. After a diligent antibiotic course, when she showed no signs of improvement, she underwent a lung biopsy. The confirmed diagnosis of stage 3 lung cancer left her overwhelmed and dismayed. Her planned surgery was canceled because of her high PD-L1. She underwent chemotherapy cycles before lobectomy and adjuvant therapy and became disease-free in July 2017. However, in April 2019, the scan showed a relapse, and yet again she went through the treatment cycles till there was no evidence of the disease.
The road ahead was bumpy and she was diagnosed with another spot four months later. She was then treated with radiation therapy. In the midst of this challenging phase, Terri found her inspiration from lung cancer survivors through LiveLung cancer education and support groups. Hearing about precision medicines in development, she inquired her oncologist about the mutations. Told she had no biomarkers. After three relapses, at a second opinion, she was told of her KRAS mutation, which was on the reports yet her oncologist did not share the knowledge or the report. Recognizing the power of having a community, she went in search of others with KRAS mutation.
KRAS is a common biomarker in lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer. Wanting to join with others, she started KRASKickers.org, to connect people to current research, and the community to kick cancer's KRAS. Terri works as a cancer advocate and aims to empower the person in the personalized medicine, the patient with comprehensive biomarker test results, sharing hope about KRAS cancers with K-knowledge, R-research, A-alliances, and S- survivorship. She believes that testing for KRAS biomarkers should be the standard of care for all cancers and precision medicine is within our reach.
She has been an active participant in order to reduce stigma, improving treatments, and help people. Her initiative has created a platform to connect, share and support KRAS patients that want to become educated with current information, for real hope. The KRAS Kickers is a community that joins together researchers, clinicians, and survivors to kick cancer's KRAS, knowing that Hope shared is hope multiplied.