Unsung Heroes: Cancer patients on the forefront of clinical trials

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Chip Moore smiles his way through another day of chemo.

He tells us he remembers the exact moment when a surgeon told him, "'You've got Stage IV colon cancer,' and that just kind of hit me like a sledgehammer."

Immediately, his mind went to the next step, "Alright, that's bad news, but what're we going to do about it?"

The answer is a clinical trial. An experimental treatment drips its way into Chip's bloodstream as he speaks with us today. He prefers to talk his way through it, with the staff or anyone who wants to hear a story.

Wednesday, May 20, is for people like Chip.

Clearview Cancer Institute's Research Director Emily Pauli explains, "Global Clinical Trials Day recognizes all the partners that advance the human condition and well-being."

Lots of cancer patients and survivors like to trade war stories. Chip just takes it more literal than most. He explains his clinical trial with a quote from the movie Patton, "'I don't want to hear any news from the front that we are holding our position.' And the clinical trial is just that. We are not holding our position. We're not content with the status-quo."

Pauli adds,"For example, we have several therapies that as short as five years ago began first in human studies, which is phase one, that are now approved therapies on the market for cancer patient treatments all over the world."

But first, those treatments have to pass through veins, and if those veins connect to your heart, it's natural to waiver. To fear. You have to battle that.

Moore chokes up when says, "The military simile there, other people have taken their turn on point. If you're part of a team, you've got to take that turn."

Maybe they call it a trial for a reason.

Moore confides, "I know other people have gone through what I'm going through, but if they didn't go through it and go through the studies to try to advance the care, then things may not look so good for me. So part of this is giving back."

Pauli admits, "It's a difficult choice to make, and that's why we take a day to recognize those volunteers that participate."

As for Chip, he says he's cautiously optimistic, and right now, his test results look good.