On February 25, the Arizona chapter of the LRG gathered together at Pinnacle Oncology, in Scottsdale, Ariz. the offices of Dr. Michael Gordon, MD who so generously offered his facility.

We all shared our experiences, treatments, discoveries and generally got to know each other. There was a special camaraderie that was established once we met face-to-face. Online chatting, email sharing and talking on the phone are wonderful, but nothing compares to meeting another person facing the same hurdles and walking the same path. Nine members and several guests were in attendance, some meeting other GISTers for the first time.

Dr. Gordon gave a short presentation on the basics of GIST, and current and off-label treatments and then moved into the Q&A portion of our meeting. It is extremely rare to get the full attention of a GIST specialist for two hours, so everyone had questions regarding treatment, trials, side-effects. Dr. Gordon answered all of our inquiries and even demonstrated on the white board how trough level testing works and the uses of the information that can be gathered.

The Arizona Chapter has not met in a very long time, but we are planning to meet every six months at different locations in Arizona. I want to give a big thank you to Jennie Kim at the Life Raft Group for sending us bracelets and pamphlets for all the attendees and to Dr. Gordon and his assistant, Carol McConnel for all their time and effort. To all who attended, thank you! And I’m so sorry I forgot my camera – we’ll get a picture next time.