It is with heavy hearts that we are letting you know that Lilla Romeo, Center of Excellence advocate extraordinaire and cherished friend, died of breast cancer on June 9, 2010, more than ten years after her diagnosis with metastatic disease. As she described in her welcome message to BrainMetsBC.org, she was diagnosed with brain mets in 2008, treated successfully at first with stereotactic radiosurgery. Last year, when new brain metastases became too numerous to treat in this way, Lilla enrolled in a clinical trial of whole brain radiation accompanied by a brief course of one of a new and promising class of drugs known as PARP inhibitors. Although the treatment she received was entirely successful in controlling any further brain metastases, by this time, after so many years of treatment, her cancer had become resistant to all chemotherapy drugs, and in recent months spread rapidly to her liver and lungs.
It was a great pleasure and honor for both of us to work with Lilla. Whether a treatment was successful or not, she always radiated an intense joy in living, and a warmth and grace that is hard to describe. She shared her life so generously with all of us, and was fiercely committed to her advocacy work. She touched all of the physicians and scientists in our Center of Excellence. She inspired us and will continue to inspire us in our work.
Musa Mayer and Helen Schiff