Family remember Hodgkin's victim with walk

April 10, 2013 3:09:40 PM PDT
The battle against cancer is being fought on many fronts. This weekend, people will lace up their shoes to help a Montgomery County family fight a cancer they say gets overlooked.

The Hodgkin's Lymphoma walk is this weekend. Hodgkin's Lymphoma is a rare cancer. In most cases, the prognosis is good. But not all cases, so more needs to done and a local family has organized this walk to honor their son.

Adam Spector was a bright light to his mother Lynn and he planned to set the business world on fire. But not long after graduating from Penn's Wharton School in 2003, Adam felt a nagging discomfort in his chest.

After nearly a year of doctor visits and tests, Adam was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma; cancer that usually starts in the lymph nodes.

Lynne Spector told Action News about receiving the word from the doctors: " This is the best cancer to get! This till melt away."

But nearly 20% of Hodgkins patients don't respond to treatment or they see the cancer return. When repeated chemotherapy failed, Lynn and Adam went from coast to coast, looking for treatment that worked.

They were frustrated there was so little research money was going towards Hodgkin's lymphoma. In early 2007, shortly before Adam died, he asked his parents a favor.

"He said, 'I want you to set up a fund for Hodgkins research.'" Lynne told Action News.

They created the foundation in Adam's name, and every year, they hold a fundraiser walk at Harriton High School in Rosemont, where Adam was valedictorian.

A special focus is on the continuing medical problems that Hodgkins survivors like Randi Gaier face. Twenty-five years after treatment, she's already had one secondary cancer, and is always on guard for more after-effects.

"All the radiation increases your risk of breast cancer, of a heart attack," Randi says. "I have to get an EKG - and you know, things you never even think of."

Lynn says her son Adam would be happy to know he is still making a difference for people like Randi. The walk is this Saturday, 9 am at Harriton High School. Some of the Action News team will be out there, including Brian Taff who will be the emcee for the event.