Ground-breaking Clinical Trial Turned The Tide After Sarah’s Rare Cancer Diagnosis

Sarah Ewald was highly involved in extracurricular activities and her social life when one day she found a lump on her foot. After tests and scans, Sarah was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma – a rare, difficult-to-treat cancer that forms in the body’s muscles and soft tissue. Even in remission, approximately 70% of alveolar rhabdomyosarcomas come back and the returning tumor growths are usually accompanied by lower survival rates.

After diagnosis, Sarah started her treatments at MHealth Fairview, a part of the University of Minnesota, under the care of Brenda Weigel, MD, MSc, Pediatric Hematologist and Oncologist and Professor in the Department of Pediatrics. After more than a year of treatment, Sarah was cancer-free in 2011, but another 15 months later, Sarah found another bump and was diagnosed with recurrent alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. Sarah was enrolled in another clinical trial at the University and was supposed to undergo another year of treatment, but this new clinical trial was so successful, that other patients in Sarah’s situation were being redirected to this treatment.

Today, Sarah is 28 years old. She is married and an alumni from the University of Minnesota, where she received a marketing degree that she uses to work at her family’s company. To learn more about Sarah’s story and the care she received, follow this link.