Cancer expo, survivor conference give patients tools, hope

Published: Saturday, Sept. 29 2012 3:42 p.m. MDT

The university is one of 60 institutions in the country and the only one in Utah that receives funding to generate awareness about cancer-related trials. Gabler said the state's "altruistic population" helps.

"The only way we make medical advances is through research," she said. "It is hugely important, but it takes time to get results."

Interested patients can register online, at www.researchmatch.org and a listing of thousands of ongoing projects can be found at www.clinicaltrials.gov.

"It would be nice to find a cure for cancer within a lifetime," Gabler said.

In addition to education and research involvement, members of the community also touted wig sales, family support services, medical advances and techniques of alternative medicine at the exhibition Saturday.

It is meant to "bring cancer survivors, their families and the community together for something that is educational and uplifting," said Michelle Marthia, UCAN spokeswoman and a breast cancer survivor.

"There's nothing we can do about the fact that we've got cancer," said Tara Steele, Siporin's wife. "What we can do is change the way we react to it."

The couple wrote an obituary and held a wake for the first portion of Siporin's liver that was removed following his stage 4 cancer diagnosis. Their two kids have dressed up like tumors for Halloween and the stories could go on forever. It was all part of making the journey memorable for the good that is sometimes hard to find when dealing with a cancer diagnosis, Steele said.

"None of us are guaranteed tomorrow, we have to enjoy every moment we get," she said.

E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com Twitter: wendyleonards

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