When Dan Crane of St. Petersburg, Florida, was diagnosed with lung cancer, he and his wife Janet did not hesitate to seek out the best available cancer treatment at the MGH Cancer Center. Under the care of Panos Fidias, MD, Dan took part in an innovative clinical drug trial for a drug which targets the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and has been effective in extending the lives of some individuals with particular types of lung cancers.
Although Dan benefited greatly from the drug, he, like others, eventually developed resistance to its effects. He died Sept. 28, 2007, surrounded by his family and loved ones.
To help champion research into EGFR inhibitors and help extend the lives of countless other cancer patients, Janet took on the goal of honoring her husband’s memory by establishing the Dan Crane Beach Walk, a 5K walk at both Hampton Beach, N.H. and St. Petersburg. The inaugural event took place Sept. 28, the one-year anniversary of Dan’s death, with more than 200 walkers participating.
To date, $171,410 has been raised to establish The Dan Crane Lung Cancer Research Fund at the MGH Cancer Center. The fund supports the clinical and research priorities of the work of Jeffrey Engelman, MD, PhD, and his team of MGH researchers, who hope to identify the mechanisms of drug resistance behind certain beneficial cancer drugs to prolong their effectiveness for patients like Dan.
“When I started planning the Dan Crane Beach Walk last year, I wanted it to be a fitting memorial to Dan,” says Janet. “It was, though, much more than that. It was an event, in Hampton and St. Petersburg, that brought Dan’s life to a wonderful conclusion, filled with love, life and hope. We were thrilled to donate over $170,000 to help the MGH Cancer Center, Dan’s clinician, Panos Fidias, and his team take the search for the cure for lung cancer one step further.”
WALKING IN LOVING MEMORY: Janet and her four grandchildren, Danielle and Jackson Crane and Zachary and Charlotte Rinaldi at the Dan Crane Beach Walk