As the owner of a CrossFIT gym in Lancaster, Tim Card was known for inspiring others to their personal best—just like he challenged himself to the same.
At home, with an adventurous spirit and a quirky sense of humor, he challenged his seven children, ages 5 to 18, to do their best in school and in life—and have fun doing it.
When the 40-year-old Mount Joy man suddenly began feeling tired and in pain, he tried to dismiss it. Because who would ever imagine the diagnosis he would eventually receive: diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, with cancerous lymph nodes above and below his diaphragm.
THIS would be the hardest challenge of his life.
“It felt like an out-of-body experience―it can’t be right,” Card said of the diagnosis. “All the things you’re not supposed to do—drink, take drugs, eat too much—I don’t do.”
After six months of failed treatments, Card had one option left—a new therapy called chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy, or CAR-T therapy, not available anywhere else in central Pennsylvania and in only a handful of places in the U.S.
THIS would make history at Penn State Cancer Institute.
Card’s T cells, critical to the body’s immune response, were extracted and modified to produce receptors that allow them to recognize and attach to a specific protein on the tumor cells. In the lab, the modified T cells were multiplied into hundreds of millions and infused back into Card, where they continue to multiply and to recognize and kill cancer cells.
His latest PET scan was clean.
“Everyone at the Cancer Institute was phenomenal,” he said. “I can’t thank them enough for saving my life.”
Today, Card is back to laughing with his kids, training at the gym and inspiring his neighbors… because THIS is what life is all about.
Everyone at the Cancer Institute was phenomenal. I can’t thank them enough for saving my life.