COURTESY OF KELLY SPILL

Kelly Spill was having a normal pregnancy until the eighth month, when she noticed blood in her stool. Her doctor thought it was a pregnancy symptom. She delivered a healthy baby boy a month later – but her symptoms didn’t go away.

COURTESY OF KELLY SPILL

The new mom from Seaside Heights continued to have issues so she went for a colonoscopy– and found out she had stage 3 colorectal cancer.

Because of the standard of care – which includes chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery – she was told she probably couldn’t get pregnant again.

COURTESY OF KELLY SPILL

A research nurse told Kelly about a new clinical trial, run by the SU2C Colorectal Cancer Dream Team, that tests immunotherapy as a first-line treatment instead of having patients go through grueling rounds of chemo, radiation and surgery. Patients receive Dostarlimab via infusion every three weeks for six months.

Kelly was the fourth person in the country to participate in the trial. She began her first round of treatment in March 2020 at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and her tumor began to shrink. After nine cycles of treatment, it was gone completely.

COURTESY OF KELLY SPILL

This trial was so new that the hospital had planned on needing to follow up with radiation. It turns out Kelly did not need additional treatment, and that means she could try to get pregnant again. After treatment, Kelly got pregnant again and had a baby girl at the end of July: Mya Grace is now 9 months old.

The follow-up protocol includes a PET scan every six months, an MRI and a sigmoidoscopy; Kelly’s scans have been pushed to once a year but the sigmoidoscopy checks ups are still every 6 months.

“My family and I are doing great,” Kelly tells New Jersey Family. “We recently bought a house and are redoing the inside. We are very excited to move in and make it our home. It feels like we are finally in a better place.”

And there is more great news on the horizon: “We are talking about baby number 3!” says Kelly.

“I am finally moving into a better direction for myself. I am personally indulging in emotional intelligence courses to obtain self-growth. When I was going through cancer I was so strong-minded that it had taken awhile for my mind to catch up with what my body had gone through. There is a lot to discover for myself mentally and emotionally,” Kelly continues. “I am on the road of healing. I continue to speak on platforms about my story to bring help and awareness to others, as well as in the very beginnings of bringing community together in my area. I am grateful for everything in my life because it has made me into a better person today.

“I am a direct beneficiary of Stand Up To Cancer-supported research. Being involved in a clinical trial and supporting cancer breakthroughs like mine, through donations, is a reason I’m here today,” she says.

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Read More:
Getting a Colonoscopy is The Best Way to Prevent Colon Cancer
Cancer Clinical Trials: What You Need to Know About Efficacy and Access