The Joan L. Kidd, MD Story
Joan L. Kidd was a respected and loved physician who had three great kids, a loving husband and a rewarding and happy life. She was diagnosed with Stage IIIc Ovarian Cancer in 2012. She underwent debulking surgery and chemotherapy. She was a two-time Ovarian Cancer survivor. Unfortunately, it came back.
Joan survived and continued to enjoy life one year to 18 months longer than she or her doctors expected. The difference was her husband Tom, as her caregiver, fighting with her in every step of the journey in getting her the care and procedures she desperately needed. Not only did she survive longer, but she survived with an acceptable quality of life until near the end. Joan traveled the world, attended her surprise birthday party with 275 family, friends, patients and colleagues attending, was present for a dedication ceremony at her office naming the Adult Medicine Department in her name, and playing golf, which she loved to do with her husband and her friends. Her husband was able to engage in the battle with her because of resources available to him and he was not intimidated by the medical system. Most people do not have those things at their disposal. Patients and caregivers are intimidated by the medical system complexity, insurance companies or health plans, the physical environment, and doctors and medical personnel because it is the unknown. Very rarely do caregivers push the envelope by questioning what is being done and why, or what more can be done with the end goal being extension of life with quality. Unfortunately, many patients and their caregivers are not given all of the options. It became very clear to Tom during his fight with Joan that some of her doctors deemed her a "treatment failure". In other words, Ovarian Cancer was going to eventually terminate her life, so the position that was taken by several involved in her treatment was to make no further effort on her behalf. It was critical that someone was watching over her care at every stage to make sure all options were on the table. As a direct result, her life was extended and she benefited as well as those that loved her.
With so many advances being made in cancer treatments and breakthroughs in immunotherapy drugs and vaccine treatments just over the horizon, it is critical to live as long as possible to be able to benefit from future available treatments. And even if the cure is not perfected in time, patients with extension of life will live to see and enjoy important events in the lives of their children, friends and families, enjoy travel, and do things they might not otherwise get the opportunity to experience if their lives were not extended.
The Joan L. Kidd, MD Fight for Life Continuum is the caregivers’ and patients’ team, standing behind them all the way through their treatment process, insuring the patient gets the best care possible and is aware of all options available to them in the most important fight of their life.
Joan, as a physician, made a difference in the lives of many patients she treated over her lifetime. Now she is the inspiration for this project that will continue making a significant difference in the lives of patients and caregivers for many years to come, and the Continuum bears her name and her legacy.