A Florida mom with stage-four breast cancer has received her first dose of a yet-to-be approved drug after posting an emotional plea on YouTube, the New York Daily News reported.
Darlene Gant, 46, was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006, which went into remission but then returned in 2010. Expecting to die from the disease, Gant mounted an online campaign, petitioning the Food and Drug Administration for earlier approval of pertuzumab, a breast cancer drug that could potentially extend her life.
In a YouTube video, Gant talked about leaving behind her husband Brian and their 11-year-old son Cameron.
The drug was not expected to be released until June, but according to the Daily News, doctors were unsure whether Gant would live that long.
However, after Gant’s 20-minute online video went viral, Genetech – the pharmaceutical company that manufactures the drug – was flooded with emails from people who had seen it. Company officials spoke with Gant’s physicians and determined she was eligible to receive the drug for “compassionate use.”
Gant must now take the drug every three weeks through an IV.
The company told the Daily News that while the video brought their attention to Gant, it did not directly cause them to give her the medication. Krysta Pellegrino, a Genetech spokeswoman, told the Daily News every patient is considered on a “case by case basis.”
“I feel so blessed and I do thank the outpouring of support from people all over the globe,” Gant told the Daily News, adding that she is looking forward to spending this upcoming Mother’s Day with her son and her own mother.