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Advocate’s Testimony in New Mexico Helps Pass Important Legislation

Click here to listen to Part I of David Cowan's radio interview on KSVP radio in New Mexico.

Click here to listen to Part II of David Cowan's radio interview on KSVP radio in New Mexico.

A Letter to the IMF from Advocate David Cowan

March 23, 2011

Dear IMF,

My name is David Cowan. I am a white male, 51 years old, and I have Multiple Myeloma (Igg kappa with Chromosome 13 deletion). I was diagnosed in March 2006 at the ripe old age of 46 and after going through several ordeals I found I was at stage III. It took three hospitals and my home town doctor at the time to figure it out. In small towns it’s hard to find the right diagnosis when they have never seen our kind of cancer. In fact, I was treated for pneumonia and double pneumonia for three weeks in the hospital when I had two big blood clots in my lungs.

After studying all the information available to me at the time, I decided to go to the University of Arkansas. Had I not there is no telling where I would be as I received the best of care there. I had four months of treatment, two transplants, and was in remission in six months’ time. It took a whole year with breaks and maintenance chemo to get to come home for a decent amount of time. Since then I have had two Gene Arrays, fifteen Bone Marrow biopsies, radiation, and numerous treatments. At the present time I have treatments for several months and I go into remission. I take about 2 months off and I come out of remission.

One fine and beautiful day I received an e-mail from Meghan Buzby with the IMF telling me about a bill in the New Mexico Legislature, SB 385. It caught my interest and before I knew it I was in Santa Fe, NM at the State Capitol. I have never been in the Capitol much less testified before a committee.  SB 385 is a bill that would require equal coverage for orally administered chemotherapy and intravenous and injected chemotherapy. Senator Timothy Z. Jennings was to introduce the bill. I visited with him before I testified and found out that his wife had succumbed to Breast cancer that had metastasized to the brain. They fought for 4 years. I had an immediate connection with Sen. Jennings and in fact have started a new found friendship. He is a fine gentleman.

Once we had completed our conversations, I was to meet Sen. Jennings at a conference room where the committee was to convene. By the time I got there and settled down to a seat, the committee was ready. Sen. Jennings and I sat together in front of about eight Representatives and I gave my testimony. It started out fine but as I explained all that I had been through and what this bill meant to me and others, I started having a lot of emotions and I found it hard to talk. Sen. Jennings picked up where I left off and told his story about his wife’s battle. We complimented each other and it became a powerful statement. I was teary-eyed, Sen. Jennings was, and when I looked at the Chairwoman I saw that she also had tears in her eyes. I found out later that she lost a close friend to cancer not long ago. The bill passed the committee unanimously.

After all was said in that little room it became very apparent that cancer has become so large that there is not one person in this big ole world that has not been touched by cancer. Either someone has cancer; a family member has it, or someone they know. It’s sad and at times overwhelming but it is not something that cannot be beat. IMF is one of those organizations that are leading the battle against cancer. I cannot thank them nor can I thank Meghan enough.

Once we were through, Sen. Jennings invited me and my wife and sister who were with me for support, to join him in the Senate which was currently conveying. We sat right beside the Chairman, Lieutenant Governor, John A. Sanchez. It was amazing to see the government at work. It was an experience of a life time. At the present time SB 385 is sitting on the Governor’s desk to be signed. I have e-mailed her and written a letter. It’s in her and God’s hands now, we can just pray for the best.

Those of you that have never been to Santa Fe are missing out. I’ve been there several times but this time everything looked new and very much alive. It gave me a new outlook on life and I was ready to get back and fight. My advice to everyone that is in treatment and doesn’t always feel good is to get out and go somewhere even if you have to get someone to take you. Go anywhere that you want as long as you do something that you like and that makes you feel good. It’s worth it!

Your friend in the fight,

David Cowan 

Congratulations and THANK YOU to David Cowan for being this month’s Advocate of the Month!

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