Doctor's courageous battle

March 31, 2008 4:26:19 AM PDT
Many of you remember Dr. Kelly Descioli. We've followed her story for the past year. She's a young doctor who can joke about having brain cancer, and still work the 80 hour weeks to finish her medical training. Now, Kelly has a new job, even while she continues taking chemotherapy.

Kelly and Mike were childhood sweethearts. They met in high school. He went to law school she went to med school. They married three years ago and adopted a dog. He has a new job and she has a new job.

"I have signed with Texas Children's Hospital to be a hospitalist starting in December," said Kelly.

Most people have no idea the young resident who went into pediatrics because she loves kids, also has brain cancer.

"If I see a little kid who just had brain surgery, I always walk up and say, 'Look, look' and I show them my scar," said Kelly. "I say, 'Look, we have matching scars' and they always smile."

"She's been amazingly strong," said Mike.

Kelly takes chemotherapy. It's in the form of a pill called Temedor. She was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer almost two years ago. But after surgery, she went right back to Texas Children's to finish her residency.

"She's on chemotherapy. She works as a resident 80 hours a week sometimes," said Mike. "And she has more energy than I do. It's pretty amazing.

But being a cancer patient has changed how she doctors her young patients.

"I look at every situation from the patient's viewpoint," said Kelly. "How would I want this presented to me if I was sitting on the bed versus in the white coat?"

Kelly is being treated at M.D. Anderson, where they're expecting FDA approval within weeks to start a very promising human trial of a new brain tumor treatment.

"We anticipate we're going to get very good results because it's really unusual to control a tumor that aggressive, even in animals," said M.D. Anderson Neurosurgery Chairman Dr. Raymond Sayawa

Until then, Kelly will continue living and working just like everyone else.

"I really believe in looking at things positively," said Kelly.

Kelly is leading the way in this year's Run for the Rose fundraiser for brain cancer research. 'Team Kelly' has raised $91,000 and the race is next weekend. Channel 13 is a co-sponsor and if you'd like to help in the April 6 Run for the Rose, you can register clicking here.


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