"Cancer is an expansionist disease; it invades through tissues, sets up colonies in hostile landscapes, seeking “sanctuary” in one organ and then immigrating to another. It lives desperately, inventively, fiercely, territorially, cannily, and defensively—at times, as if teaching us how to survive. To confront cancer is to encounter a parallel species, one perhaps more adapted to survival than even we are.”
Siddhartha Mukherjee, The Emperor of All Maladies
As a first generation immigrant to the United States, I respect the survivalist instinct. Not the often misunderstood Darwinian "survival of the fittest" kind but the "natural selection" kind that favors cooperation. That's what we're lucky enough to do every day at Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center -- work cooperatively across multiple disciplines with the help of our wonderful patients to outwit this empress of all maladies.
For my part, I would not be where I am without my husband Jamal J. Elias, and my family, friends and colleagues over the years. Thanks to their encouragement and support, I now spend my days, as the Abramson Cancer Center's Executive Director of Legal Affairs and Immunotherapy Collaborations for the Center’s clinical, scientific research and immunotherapy research collaboration activities.
This is my first time participating in the Breakthrough Bike Challenge as captain of Team ImmunoRevolution. We hope we can count on you to help reach our fundraising goal of $2,500. 100% of the funds raised will support Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center, the best place for cancer research, translational medicine, and patient care.
"Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.”
—Rainer Maria Rilke (trans. Joanna Macy & Anita Barrows)
Mehrin (Mir) Masud-Elias, JD, MBE
Team Roster: Prof. Jamal J. Elias. (Chair, Dept of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania), Dr. Terenjit Sevea (Dept. of South Asia Studies, University of Pennsylvania), Dr. David Hoffman (Parker Institute for Cancer immunotherapy), Dr. Manuela Coppola.