Claudia Gomez is 26 years old and grew up in the Philadelphia area. Claudia was diagnosed with FAP (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis) in high school and with over 200 polyps in her colon, Claudia had a colectomy in her junior year. In her senior year of college, Claudia developed desmoid tumors in her abdomen, and now has a stent in her ureter which must be replaced every 3 months. For the last year, Claudia has responded well to Gleevec, and the tumors have remained stable. In November, Claudia’s friends and family held a “Beef & Beer” fundraiser (a Philadelphia tradition) for DTRF.
The committee worked hard to solicit donations from people and businesses in the area, as well as to sell tickets for the event. Pat Ciarrocchi, a Philadelphia newscaster and step-mother to a young man with a desmoid tumor, was the guest auctioneer and raised the profile of the event. The night was a huge success, with close to 150 in attendance and a full array of raffle baskets and auction items. Everyone had fun, and as one neighbor commented, “We have wanted to do something to help for so long, and this was a great way to do that.” All in all, the event raised $10,000, double the original goal of Claudia’s friends and family.