Seventy-four percent of patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer die within one year of diagnosis. Cathy Scott lived with this deadly disease for 15 years. She is the reason why we are here.
Who is Cathy Scott?
She was a fighter. She was a giver. She was the mother of our organization's founders. Declare HOPE was started by Cathy Scott's three children to carry out her legacy and help those who are going through what they went through as a family.
Cathy Scott was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1993 while pregnant with her youngest daughter. The growth of both the tumor and the baby caused significant pain for Cathy. In December of that year, doctors performed surgery to remove tumors from the pancreas, but found that cancer had metastasized to her liver. Instead, doctors removed her pancreas and some tumors from her liver. Cathy gave birth to a healthy baby girl the following April.
In the years that followed, doctors monitored the cancer diligently. The cancer cell was an islet cell carcinoma, a very slow growing tumor. For 12 years, Cathy experienced no changes, no pain, but the cancer was still present.
In 2005, the tumor began to expand. She and her husband, Charles Scott, explored options and consulted with doctors. They began trips to M.D. Anderson for chemotherapy treatment. After a year there was no difference in the size of the tumor, and she was released from the hospital. There was nothing more they could do.
That didn't stop Cathy. She took matter into her own hands, and in the process she continued to live her life. She kept working, attended school events for her children, remained active in the several organizations she was a part of, gave back to her community and accomplished personal goals. Many considered her to be a miracle case, but we saw her as the strongest woman alive.
Cathy passed away on September 27, 2009. Her immense strength and courage during her illness taught all that knew her how to be strong. But even more important, her boundless faith taught all that knew her to believe. Declare HOPE is our start to continuing her legacy.