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Open Your Hearts & Wallets

Linda Starck, if you don’t already know her, has for a long time been a part of the Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado, the trade organization committed to supporting and raising the status of craft beer in the U.S. and abroad. If you have met Linda, you already know she is a wonderful, giving person. Unfortunately, Linda is now quite literally in the fight of her life, as she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer in February. So far, the regular treatment has proved ineffective and the cancer has spread. As a result, Linda started looking around for alternative treatments and found a promising one in Cologne, Germany. It’s a three-step approach known as the Cologne Model, consisting of Dendritic Cell Therapy, Newcastle Virus and hyperthermie. It has apparently shown success there but is only at the trial stage here in the U.S.

Linda is currently in Germany having the first of the three treatments and the whole process will take six months, meaning she’ll have to travel there three separate times, and will likely remain in Germany for the final four months of treatment. As you might have guessed, the treatments are considered experimental and naturally not covered by insurance. Each treatment alone costs a whopping $15,000!

I lost my own mother to cancer when I was only 22 (and she was only 42 years old) so I know only too well how her family feels and how much your donation would mean to them. Please join me is helping Linda and her family with this fight. Friends of Linda are organizing fund raisers in their homes in and around Boulder, Colorado but no matter where you are, whether you know Linda or not, please consider sending a check to help raise the money necessary for these treatments. Let’s show the world that the beer community truly is — as I believe it to be — like one, big extended family.

Send your check made payable to “Linda Starck” for any amount to:

Linda Starck
c/o Brewers Association
736 Pearl Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Thank you in advance for your generosity and charity.


Linda Starck (at left) with Nancy Johnson, director of the festival, at the Great American Beer Festival several years ago.

UPDATE 11.26:

Linda is home for a short while and very happy to be here. The weather there was very cold and damp so she is enjoying the sunshine and warm weather. The doctors are seeing some evidence that the first dosage of tarceva is working. A scan scheduled for January 2 will tell if the tarceva and/or the dendretic cell treatments are working.

If you’re near Boulder, don’t forget about the fundraiser that is scheduled for Dec. 2nd, hope to see you all there, I know Linda is looking forward to seeing you. If you want to attend or would like any more information, please email me and I’ll pass on your request to Nancy Johnson at the Brewers Association. Linda will be leaving early the next morning for her next treatment in Germany.

UPDATE: 12.11:

Linda and her family wish to extend their sincere gratitude for all those attending and contributing to the fundraiser. She enjoyed seeing everyone and the donations received will be very helpful with the treatment she is receiving. Donations are still coming in! Thanks so much.

Linda and er husband Joyce left bright and early the morning after the fundraiser and immediately started the next treatment regimen. It is still too early to test for the success of the treatments, but her energy level has definitely improved. Her spirits remain high.

Her US doctor had restarted her on a lower dose of Tarceva which she still did not tolerate well, so that has been discontinued. She learned that there is a chemo sensitivity test which she is having done to see if there are any other chemo drugs that might be an option.

Linda and Joyce will be return to the US on the 15th.

UPDATE: 1.8:

As circumstances and information changes, so do Linda’s options, decisions and priorities. Pain management is of primary concern at this time! Adjustments are being made to her pain medications.

Latest tests show that the cancer has spread aggressively along her spine, throughout her torso and also now in her liver. Linda has canceled her continued treatment in Germany for now, as travel would be difficult. This can be reconsidered, of course.

Her U.S. doctor is suggesting two options — supportive care and/or participating in a clinical trial. She has decided to take part in the clinical trial (chemo) offered here, while we explore additional alternative treatments. She is glad to say she still has several to explore. Oasis of Hope Hospital in Tijuana is one she and her family hope to consult with today.

Linda is overwhelmed at the generosity of others, including total strangers. The fund-raising efforts on Linda’s behalf have assisted in her alternative care not covered by insurance. The approximately $22,000 raised to date (not including $4,000 raised by the Brewing Network) comes close to covering the first two treatments she received in Germany. Linda thanks everyone again for your generous support. If she pursues other alternative treatments at a later date, or is able to travel back to Germany, she will let us all know.

Thanks to everyone out there who gave so generously. And a special thanks to Justin at the Brewing Network for putting the resources at his disposal to such a selfless purpose.

UPDATE: 1.28:

Linda has been on an oral chemo as part of a trial for about three weeks now. It is having a big effect on her. She is extremely tired and has very little appetite. These are side effects of this drug so we can only hope that it means that it is doing its job and fighting this ugly disease. The schedule of this trial is to be on the pills for 60 days and then go in for updated scans to determine the next phase. Thank goodness, the pain management has been going much better.

The family is still exploring alternative treatments very aggressively. Nothing has come up as a perfect fit yet, but there are some hopeful possibilities. Linda and her family are bound and determined to find the answer get Linda better, so please send all your prayers and good wishes their way.

UPDATE: 2.14:

Linda is struggling very hard at this time. The main problem is that she cannot keep any nutrition down. She is very weak and sleeps most of the time. The goal is to be able to give her some enzymes to get her nutritional level back up but they cannot do that until she is able to keep some food down. The family is keeping a constant log on her nutrition and trying to get something in her every fifteen minutes. This is taking every bit on strength they have. Although they very much appreciate your concern, they are asking that we all please keep phone calls to a bare minimum and no visits for the time being. They need to give all of their attention to Linda.

Linda and her family need every bit of love, good thoughts and prayer that we can send them right now.

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