Asked which is tougher, war or cancer, U.S. Navy veteran Millard Diseker doesn’t hesitate. “Cancer is bad, but war is worse. This is a different kind of fight.”
It’s a battle he’s been waging for some time now. Diagnosed with prostate and colon cancer eight years ago, Millard underwent treatment and spent seven years cancer-free. But the disease returned, and now he’s in the midst of a two-year chemotherapy program. Despite side effects like fatigue, insomnia, mood swings and hot flashes, Millard remains positive about his treatment— a new drug combination that’s part of a Foundation-funded clinical trial aimingto increase prostate cancer survival rates—and his future.
Cancer took Millard’s first wife, Paula, three years ago, but he’s been fortunate to find love again with his fiancée, Carol, and the two hope to get married in the spring. He credits the team at Illinois CancerCare for standing shoulder to shoulder with him throughout his fight. “They’re fabulous people. From the lab, to the pharmacy, to the treatment pod, everyone here is so kind-hearted. They always have your six.”
Since 1979, nearly 10,000 cancer patients have participated in more than 1,400 clinical trials through Illinois CancerCare, many funded in part by your contributions to the Foundation. Unlike bench research, which is conducted in a lab with test tubes and animals, clinical trials are applied research using human subjects—essential in advancing cutting-edge care and offered comfortably close to home.
Millard Diseker May 8, 2017