Elise Young contributed so positively to all who came across her path.
A diagnosis of Mycoses Fungoides Lymphoma the common form of the rare T-Cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma was typically difficult to diagnose. A remarkable GP Dr. Rolf Tsui biopsied a rashy lesion that had been misdiagnosed for 2 years leading to diagnosis and effective treatment. Few options for treatment meant Elise in her seventh decade continued to work 3 days a week in the Melbourne CBD opted for a clinical trial drug made possible by the multi-disciplinary team at Peter MacCallum, VCCC.
This biologic agent failed to work but lead to treatment with an approved drug made affordable and possible by the efforts of Rare Cancers Australia and Greg Hunt's listing of Vorinostat on the PBS. Elise volunteered for the media campaign in the Fairfax press and evening tv news.
After seven years of treatment, the past five on Vorinostat, made possible by Professor Miles Prince and Assoc. Prof. Chris Mc Cormack; and with expert surveillance and support by NP Odette Buelens enabled Elise to fully participate in life to the fullest.
Elise was voted best dressed woman at the ballet by admirers who wondered what she would wear at the next ballet and this did not stop when she started to rock the headscarf. Driving a convertible up to weeks before her untimely death to get to monthly plasma phoresis treatments signaled to all who knew her a joy, hope, love of life and determination to succeed under duress.
We, her beloved family are devastated by our loss; and the heartache of her steady and rapid decline and death. We, as was Elise, are so grateful for the hard work Rare Cancers and others like the Lymphoma Foundation have managed to do, to gain traction by their successful and necessary lobbying.