Cancer affects many of us as about 8.8 million people die from cancer each year. Our family, friends, colleagues or even ourselves, with the best care, can be subjected to harsh side effects, lengthy treament durations, prohibitive costs and limited accessiblity. Dr. Hadiyah-Nicole Green, founder of the Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation, believes there's a better way.
Dr. Green spoke with WBGO News Director Doug Doyle about her patent-pending cancer treatment that she says completely eliminates tumors in mice, in just 15 days, after a single 10-minute treatment, without side effects.
On Sunday, June 21, the group When Black Women Gather, is kicking off a Zoom Webathon, to raise $1 million for Dr. Green to complete her development of an effective, non-invasive and inexpensive treatment for cancer.
Dr. Green is hoping people will donate to help her attain the eventual goal of reaching $30 million to cover the costs of clinical trials and FDA approval.
"We've developed a technology already that's currently sitting on the shelf, waiting for us to raise the money to begin human trials. This technology has shown complete elimination of tumors in laboratory mice after one treatment in the course of 15 days with no observable side effects. It's a technology I developed that's using an innovative approach to lasers that activate tiny particles called nanoparticles. So it's a physics-based approach to killing cancer. So we are raising money through the Ora Lee Smith Cancer Research Foundation to begin human trials."
Dr. Green says she's thankful for Helen Higginbotham, founder of When Black Women Gather, for helping to organize Sunday's Webathon that will feature all kinds of performers from 1pm to 5pm EST on various platforms.
Dr. Green is also an Assistant Professor at Morehouse School of Medicine in the Department of Surgery. The graduate of Alabama A&M University was the first in her family to go to college. She was orphaned at a young age and raised by her Aunt Ora Lee Smith, who inspired her life-long work.
"When I'm looking at my life I don't ever look at it as being as success story. This is my path and my divine assignment in life. From age four my aunt Ora Lee Smith and my uncle, they took me and my two brothers in and raised us as if we were their own children after already raising eight children of their own so they were the only parents I knew growing up. I remember my grandparents vaguely but I don't remember my biological parents at all. For me, my aunt and uncle were my mom and dad. When I left for college and became the first in the family that was something that we all celebrated and I recognize that as me as standing on their shoulders. I wouldn't be here without their support."
Dr. Green says the day after she graduated from Alabama A&M University with a 4-point-0 in Physics, her aunt announced she had "woman's cancer."
"It was either cervical or ovarian. She said that she would rather die than experience the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation. Three months after she passed, my uncle who raised me was also diagnosed with cancer. I was both of their primary caregivers. So I got to see firsthand the horrors of cancer and the horrors of cancer care."
For her groundbreaking work, Dr. Green was presented the Key to the City and the Historic Icon Award by the City of Selma, Alabama. Ebony magazine in 2016 listed her as one of the "100 Most Influential African Americans" in the U.S.
Click above to hear the entire conversation with Dr. Green.