Paul Poth was a dedicated husband and new father. He was a lawyer with a passion for public service. He was a chef, comedian, and connoisseur of great music. He lived a vibrant, healthy life until, at age thirty-eight, he learned he had hepatobiliary duct cancer, an extremely rare form of cancer that was virtually unheard of in people his age.
With no family history of cancer, and no underlying health problems, Paul was stunned by the diagnosis. But the worst news was yet to come. Paul discovered that even the world’s top oncologists lacked real insight into his disease. Rare cancers like Paul’s are poorly researched — if they are researched at all — because the funding for research simply isn’t there.
Paul faced surgery, radiation, and various trials of chemotherapy. But because no treatment protocol existed for his particular diagnosis, his doctors had to look at other cancers to determine his course of treatment — a “best guess” approach that brought little hope for recovery.
Still, Paul fought the disease with everything he had for close to two years. Along the way, he continued to care for his family, to make his friends laugh, to remain optimistic and to truly embrace life. He also founded TargetCancer.
Paul passed away in August 2009. TargetCancer continues his effort to ensure that others diagnosed with rare cancers will have real treatment options — and a chance to live.
Cancer is an insidious disease that will affect every one of us. We can’t win this fight without you.
Target all cancers.
Read more about Paul in The Boston Globe.