They are fighting cancer with immunotherapy and have become role models for many other patients. Here are the stories of Erika, Toscano and Carlo.
After Erika discovered she had an advanced kidney cancer, she was initially operated and then started an immunotherapy program. Today she feels better and her metastases have reduced.
Toscano’s disease, a biliary tract cancer, has become chronic and showed regression after immunotherapy.
Erika & Toscano
Carlo was diagnosed with advanced melanoma: after several surgical procedures, the odds of defeating the disease were quite low. So, he decided to start an investigational immunotherapy treatment that ended with a victory over the disease.
"I defeated melanoma, now I’m setting off for Santiago de Compostela"
An interview with Carlo after his return from Santiago de Compostela
Carletto on the road again
L'intervista a Carlo al ritorno da Santiago di Compostela
He’s going to walk 970 km to support the activity of “Aquattromani”, a no-profit organization for cancer patients under treatment at the Medical Oncology and Immunotherapy Unit of Siena Hospital.
Carlo’s story begins in 2011 with a diagnosis of advanced melanoma, followed by a number of surgical operations and only a few chances of survival. In 2013, he contacted the Siena Hospital and was invited to receive an investigational immunotherapeutic drug. He agreed to take part in the protocol and embarked on a journey that has just ended with the defeat of his cancer.
He decided to speak out about his experience, which he defined as “tragic and extraordinary at the same time”, by walking the Aragonese Way which starts in Somport, in the France/Spain border, and leads to Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre. It is a physically challenging experience, but also “an important step to make my story known and to support the commitment of “Aquattromani” in this field”; this organization, together with the medical and nursing staff, helps patients treated at the Oncology Department by explaining what immunotherapy is, how it works and what are the differences with other therapies. During this journey, Carlo will wear the “Aquattromani” T-shirt, “and my thoughts will be with my fellow friends met at the hospital”.
Follow Carlo’s jouney here, and read the day-by-day account of this adventure that started on May 5, 2015.
Carletto on the road again
A new challenge for Carlo Banchelli, who completed the 900 km of the Camino de Santiago in 2015 after he defeated a metastatic melanoma.
This year, Carlo will walk 500 Km along the Way of St. Francis from the La Verna sanctuary, in Tuscany, to St Peter’s Square in Rome.
The purpose is to convey a message of hope to cancer patients, supporting them in their struggle against the disease.
This year, too, Carlo will be supported throughout his journey by the medical staff of Prof. Michele Maio and psycho-oncologist Dr. Ivan Parla from the Cancer Immunotherapy Division of Siena’s General Hospital, who said: “Carlo’s enthusiasm and strong motivation can be an example and a model for many other patients, and give them new confidence and determination to face challenges that may sometimes seem overwhelming and impossible to overcome. Each patient has his or her own way of coping with the disease, but it is also essential to share experiences, feelings and emotions with other patients at the hospital, in order to look into the future with more confidence”.
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