In 2007, two highschool friends, Joshua Stone and Todd Clendenon reconnected at a local church and rekindled a friendship. Shortly after, Todd discovered he had cancer and required a special treatment with approval from his doctors, and Josh came up with the idea to create a Facebook page to support Todd`s effort. They succeeded and Todd is beginning treatment this week.
Todd`s cancer was originally found as a bump on his tongue, and Joshua`s father, who is a physician assistant, helped identify that the cancer had quickly spread up into three of his lymph nodes. Doctors later determined that Todd had squamous cell carcinoma. The cancer was invasive, which meant that it had the ability to spread out of its original location.
“He went through various therapies, including chemotherapy and radiation, and surgery to remove probably a quarter of his tongue,” said Mike Stone. The cancer continued to spread, and a PET scan reveled that the cancer had moved into his lung. This put his chances at survival down to two months, and things looked quite grim.
Joshua began to do some research, and found an answer in a trial treatment called Reolysin. The treatment is now in phase two clinical trials, and previous tests have had strong results against Todd`s type of cancer. But Todd`s problem was that his tumor was too small to allow him to meet requirements for the trial. Todd, his wife and two children visited the doctors in Taxes to attempt to convince them to allow him to join the trial.
That`s when Josh realized that he could tell the story through Facebook to help build support. In a week, the page had over 12 thousand fans from around the world. Doctors saw the page, saw Todd`s requests, and approved his case. He`s now beginning treatment. Josh knows that his efforts were worth it: “The world is a better place, my worlds a better place with him, and I’m gonna do everything I possibly can to make sure he stays here as long as possible.” The page is here and now has over 15,000 fans.