April Ross is, like Ron Burgundy, “kind of a big deal”. People know her.
So of course we were super excited to meet up with her in Phoenix a couple weeks ago! April has helped to spread the Dig Pink® word and even took time out pre-Olympics to meet up with players from Ohio.
The visit to Phoenix in November was a special one because April was able to spend an hour and a half touring Caris Life Sciences, one of the scientific facilities that processes breast tumor tissue for the Side-Out Protocol, our trial for patients with stage 4 breast cancer. If you missed our Snapchat documentation that day, we walked through several of the Caris labs, led by Dr. David Spetzler, Caris president and chief scientific officer. April learned how the tissue is processed, from its arrival in the lab to the creation of a patient pathology report and collaboration with physicians to determine the best treatment recommendation based on the lab findings. The idea that the most effective treatment methods can be determined by analyzing each patient’s specific tumor (rather than assigning a one-size-fits-all treatment) is known as precision medicine. It is considered cutting-edge therapy, and we are very proud to be able to offer it to Side-Out Protocol patients.
April also spoke about her mom’s experience with breast cancer, and how she wished this research were available when she was in treatment. April’s mom died when she was a sophomore in college. Although stage 4 (metastatic) breast cancer remains incurable, we are hopeful that the research the volleyball community is funding will advance understanding of the disease and the best methods to treat it. We are incredibly grateful to Dr. Spetzler and his team as well as the other scientific teams around the country working on the Side-Out Protocol. And we were honored that April spent an afternoon learning about our research. Check out our pictures below from this special day!