Personalize Cancer Care Initiative

The Personalize Cancer Care Initiative (PCCI) is a partnership with StoreMyTumor. The PCCI was formed in order to empower cancer patients to “own” their cancer care through education and awareness around the need to question the current standard of care. The initiative will be driven by current cancer patients, who will comprise the Patient Advocates. They are committed to making sure that all patients have the most comprehensive information available to make the best decisions for them and their families


Patient Advocates

Irene Downs

Irene Downs lives in Silver Spring Maryland with Gary, her husband of 29 years, and her dog Halle.  Their daughter Kristin is 25 and lives in Alexandria. Born and Raised in Illinois, Irene received a BSN from Loyola University in Chicago. She worked in both hospital and other clinical settings in Chicago then transferred to the business world working at both GE and Merck in Maryland.  She was diagnosed with Stage 3C Ovarian Cancer in September of 2015. Her gynecological oncologist suggested storing tumor cells so she could take advantage of vaccine therapy.  She received her vaccine in September of 2016.



Joy Brewster

Joy Brewster is a real estate agent in Arizona where she has lived for 28 years.  Her daughter was diagnosed with Fibromellar Hepatocellular Carcinoma in 2014 at the age of 21 and, during this time, Joy became familiar with Store My Tumor.  SMT has been instrumental in providing tissue to various labs in the hope of finding a cure. She enjoys photography, hiking, and spending time with her family.



Liz Cox

Liz Cox is a wife, mother of two sons and grandmother to a three year old grandson. My second grandchild will arrive this summer.

I am a native Californian, born and raised in the east bay.  I grew up in the shadow of Mount Diablo where I loved horseback riding and swimming. I studied at San Jose State University and received my teaching and special education degrees

I taught a special education classroom in the Menlo Park School District.

Our family has led very active lives skiing, waterskiing, house boating and many other outdoor activities.  I enjoy hiking and photography and last year took a dream trip to Alaska to visit and photograph the bears.  I plan to return this summer. 

I just want to live.  That is what I tell my doctors when we discuss my options for treatment.  I have spent much of my time in treatment since September 16, 2013, the day I was diagnosed with Malignant Ovarian Cancer stage 3c. Jim, my husband, looked for a way to have tumors tested to find the most effective treatment for my cancer.  That is when he came across, Store My Tumor, online. We are currently having my tumors tested from my last surgery. Moral of the story, take control of your medical care and you have a better chance to live a longer life


Andrea Ottaiano

Andrea Ottaiano currently working as a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach in addition to being a patient advocate for several cancer and oncology organizations. In 2010 I learned that my breast cancer had spread.  I once again looked into different treatment options and learned about Store My Tumor.  I coordinated all efforts between Store My Tumor and MSKCC where I was to have the mass in my liver removed. This cancer was caught at an early stage AND I have tumor tissue to ultimately have a vaccine made if necessary.  Had I not gone to this extreme but thorough measure I would not have a vaccine option. 


Carrie Gillotte

Carrie Gillotte is retired from Georgetown University in 2012 after a career supporting administrative systems for Higher Education.  Our active retirement (my husband Mike and myself) included lots of travel with sight-seeing, hiking, biking and kayaking.  My time at home was dedicated to my genealogy hobby, and to enjoying our 7 grandchildren (#8 in May!). Home in Virginia, an ER visit late Saturday night confirmed a diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer. As part of the discussion on surgery, Dr Barter highly recommended that we save some tissue from the surgery for StoreMyTumor, to be used later to create a personalized vaccine. So in April 2016 I flew to Tubingen, Germany, where I received the vaccine created from the tissue that StoreMyTumor had stored.  The coordinator from StoreMyTumor was very helpful in keeping the communication flowing between Germany and the US. 

Liz Fisher

Liz Fisher has more than 20 years’ experience as a natural food industry executive and entrepreneur. In 2011 Liz was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. That began a five year treatment journey that included saving her tumor in 2013 after having a reoccurrence and then having an autologous vaccine made form that viably stored tumor. Liz completed 6 doses of the vaccine and is reporting clean scans and good times now 2 full years after treatment. Her last medi-port was taken out three months ago!