The Life Raft Group welcomed Ron Agypt to the Board this month. Ron is a retired insurance executive, father of three, and grandfather of five. Ron and his wife, Kim, have learned about GIST firsthand. After Ron’s GIST diagnosis, he began treatment with Gleevec only to discover this typical first-line treatment was ineffective for him.
The couple searched for answers and contacted the LRG, which recommended mutational testing and a GIST specialist. Mutational testing revealed that Ron was exon 9, which usually does not respond to a 400 mg dose of Gleevec.
Ron is currently participating in a clinical trial run by GIST experts and doing very well. He and Kim believe the LRG’s help was “critical to his survival.” In turn, they are eager to help others who are facing a GIST journey and want to do whatever they can to help GIST patients – especially encouraging them to see a GIST specialist and advocating for mutational testing for all GIST patients.