In Memory of Mette Uttrup Kühl
My wife, Mette, was diagnosed with a grade 4 GBM in September 2004. She immediately underwent surgery in Denmark where we live. 90% of the tumor was removed, and Mette was started on chemotherapy, which was later followed by radiation treatment. However, and in spite of this, the tumor had grown back to its original size by April 2005.
Distraught by her rapidly deteriorating condition and poor prognosis, we desperately sought for the best available treatment for her. My family, who lives in North Carolina, was encouraged to contact The Brain Tumor Center at Duke. They met with Dr. Henry Friedman who immediately expressed the Center’s sense of urgency: “Don’t give up hope! Bring Mette here by tomorrow”!
Within two weeks (May 2005), Mette arrived from Denmark and she was immediately enrolled in a clinical study, which investigated the efficacy of Avastin®, a relatively new type of drug that shrinks tumors by cutting off the blood supply, in conjunction with a standard chemotherapy agent. Mette, our 1- and 3-year-old sons, Mette’s mother, and I stayed with our family in NC for the first eight weeks of the bi-weekly treatments, during which Mette’s tumor shrank significantly, showing that the tumor responded well to the treatment. Mette’s general physical condition also gradually improved.
In June 2006, after one year of bi-weekly treatments carried out alternatively at the Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark under guidance from The Brain Tumor Center at Duke, in conjunction with treatments and visits at Duke every 6 weeks, Mette was declared in remission since no active tumor could be seen on either MRI or PET scans, and she was consequently started on maintenance therapy. Since then, every MRI has confirmed there is no re-occurrence of the tumor. A PET scan in May 2007 showed no activity in the tumor area. Mette feels good and she is caring for our family the same way she did before she got sick.
Since June 2007, Mette has been without any treatment. The Brain Tumor Center still follows her closely with MRI scans every third month. The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center has made history: The treatment, which Mette received at the center, was a true successful breakthrough in the treatment of brain tumors.
During this most difficult time of our lives, the staff at The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center has constantly given us hope to fight Mette’s disease. At The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center, tomorrow’s medicine and treatment are delivered today!
We will never be able to express well enough our gratitude for the never ending professionalism and dedication we meet at every visit at the Brain Tumor Center.
I pray, hope, and strongly believe that Mette, the loving mother of our two sons, is a brain tumor survivor. We will never ever give up hope!
Mette, our 6- and 4-year-old sons and I will participate in the Angels Among Us event on Saturday April 26th, 2008.
Nicolai Kühl, Mette’s forever grateful husband