Dr. Beth Riley – Brown Cancer Center

Patient volume at the Brown Cancer Center has remained consistent during COVID-19; we have not seen a drop and continue to treat approximately 200 patients a week. As you know, cancer doesn’t stop (even when everyone else does) and patient treatment must continue. The breast cancer clinic has been impacted by surgery delays. For patients in Kentucky, there has been a roughly 6 week delay, on average. Patients are given alternative medical treatments to adjust to interruptions in the surgery schedule.

Cancer patients are at high risk if they contract COVID and to reduce risk, several measures have been taken. The Brown Cancer Center instituted screenings and social distancing practices for patients. In addition, patients must be tested before procedures. The BCC has seen a rapid rise in telehealth, which is good for people who need updates and other information, and reduces their exposure. Accrual numbers have remained consistent.   

New trials are not being opened locally or nationally. The pharmaceutical companies are not able to open trials right now, although there is a strong desire to do so and move forward, it is not logistically possible at the moment. This is due to many related factors: furloughs, remote working, and national offices located in NYC or other heavily affected areas.  

Patients who were already on trials are able to continue on the trial – so patients continue to be supported by Hope Scarves. However, some trials that Dr. Riley had planned to open had to be put on hold. Sheryl, a patient at BCC, says that she’s grateful her clinical trial is working, and that it gives her hope!


Help continue Dr. Riley (and her team’s) clinical trials and remind cancer patients  Hope Isn’t Canceled  by sponsoring a Hope Scarf for $30/month as part of our Hope Isn’t Canceled Sustainability Campaign.  Our goal is to send 400 Hope Scarves each month – please join us!





Kim – Kentucky

Nothing about cancer is ‘easy’ or ‘typical.’ A report or doctor might say that, but when it’s your body, it’s personal. It’s everything.”

Kim Landrom, of Louisville, Kentucky knows that all too well. When she had an ovarian cancer scare that turned out to be “only” endometriosis, she was relieved. Until, in the same phone call, she heard a “But…..” from the doctor, who then informed her she had two malignant breast lumps and a malignant lymph node. She was told it was an “easy case” but something told her to push further. She moved her treatment to the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, had a mastectomy, and started radiation. However, soon she learned that cancer was in more lymph nodes, and she started five months of chemo.

“My head was spinning,” says Kim. “I knew then my life just changed. Cancer made it real.” She reached out to Lara MacGregor for support and received her first Hope Scarf. “You don’t understand what it’s like to live with cancer until you experience it,” Kim says. “I am blessed to have an army of support along with friends from Hope Scarves. The connection is amazing.”

“I have accepted my new life and live in the most positive way possible,” Kim adds, “but, there’s no way past it that cancer just sucks.”

Cancer during COVID-19 is equally difficult. The isolation. The fear. The unknown. “I never felt cancer would kill me, but then you throw in the uncertainty around COVID-19,” she says. “You can’t push the limits of cancer and COVID. You have to trust in the nurses and doctors and heal as you can.”

“I have so many people helping me navigate this new life, and I focus on kindness,” Kim says. “When I’m on the other side of treatment, I hope I can be that same support for others.” 

Successful treatment isn’t the end of the road for Kim. “The breast cancer world is so focused on “beating” cancer, but there are no promises,” she says. “In 10 years, I might have MBC. I know I am never truly cancer free. Way too many people die from MBC. You can’t beat MBC without research. It could affect me. It could affect you. MBC needs a cure. I want to help fund and find a cure for MBC,” she says.

“Your research dollars could save my life. That is what hope is all about.” 


Help remind Kim and thousands more facing cancer that Hope Isn’t Canceled by sponsoring a Hope Scarf for $30/month as part of our Hope Isn’t Canceled Sustainability Campaign.  Our goal is to send 400 Hope Scarves each month – please join us!




Dr. Andrew Ewald – Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center

Hope isn’t canceled. It turns out research isn’t entirely, either. At Johns Hopkins University, breast cancer researcher and Hope Scarves funding recipient Andrew Ewald and his team have continued to make strides in understanding metastatic breast cancer with patients always front-of-mind. “The most important thing is to convey to patients and patient advocates that they are not forgotten. We never lost focus on metastatic breast cancer, we never stopped working on metastatic breast cancer, and we have published exciting new research in this time period,” says Dr. Ewald.

Ewald’s research aims to use advanced imaging to see and understand at the single-cell level how and when metastasis happens. Understanding this process will give us more exact, tailored treatment options. As Dr. Ewald explained it, one way to think about the puzzle his research aims to solve is to think of a room full of women – some five feet tall, some five-ten. While not one woman in the room is 5’5” that may be their average height. 

In designing cancer treatment plans, we often design for how the “average” cell in a tumor behaves, even if that behavior doesn’t apply to any one individual cell. This research hopes to identify the processes and behavior of those individual cells to give us a more accurate picture of what is happening at the moment of metastatic activity.

Ewald’s lab was able to anticipate the Covid-19 crisis, and was laser focused in the first part of this year on getting key experiments done so that they could pivot to manuscript writing during the shutdown. They never stopped (not for a day) working on metastatic breast cancer. Consequently, they have exciting new papers coming out for which Hope Scarves support was essential. And they will be back in the lab (in shifts, with masks, socially distanced) within the next two weeks. In Dr. Ewald’s own words: “Breast cancer will still be here after COVID-19 has faded into memory and so our focus and resolution remain high.”


Help continue Dr. Ewald’s research and remind cancer patients  Hope Isn’t Canceled by sponsoring a Hope Scarf for $30/month as part of our Hope Isn’t Canceled Sustainability Campaign.  Our goal is to send 400 Hope Scarves each month – please join us!