010: Wendy Chioji



"Fear is darkness, and education is light." -Wendy Chioji

Episode 10 of the Intersection of Cancer and Life features Wendy Chioji, a freelance television producer, six-time Ironman, and triathlete, who has tackled everything in her life, including her three cancer diagnoses, with the same motto: "Just say yes." 

Wendy's first round with cancer came in 2001 at age 39, when she was diagnosed with stage II breast cancer. She underwent chemo and surgery, then participated in a clinical trial of the drug Taxotere. In 2013, Wendy was diagnosed with stage II Thymic Carcinoma, a rare cancer that affects the Thymic gland, an organ that serves as part of the lymphatic system and lies under the breastbone in the upper chest. She underwent chemo and radiation, and then, after a recurrence of the Thymic cancer, began a series of clinical trials.

Wendy is not only an incredible advocate for clinical trials but a fantastic source of information about all aspects of the clinical trial process. Not only have these trials extended her life, but Wendy walks us through the ins and outs of how to navigate a clinical trial, the importance of these trials, and debunks many commonly-held myths about clinical trials. In addition, Wendy talks candidly about her life with cancer, the subsequent health challenges that she navigates as a result of her treatments, and her fundraising missions with Pelotonia, an organization that funds clinical trials for the James Cancer Center in Columbus, Ohio. 

Links from the show:

Clinical Trials

Southwest Airlines Medical Transportation Grants

FDA Compassionate Use Program 

Here's where to fin