Meredith Moore, 45, was diagnosed with the disease in 2009 and by 2011, decided to be the first to be treated by a new procedure which involves taking out the affected organs and removing the cancerous cells.
Most doctors Moore went to refused to perform the procedure because her pancreatic tumor was close to major arteries.
She then found Dr. Tomaki Kato after reading a newspaper article about him.
Kato decided to take on Moore’s case as one of his first.
He removed most of her internal organs, including her pancreas, stomach, spleen, gall bladder, liver and some of her intestines.
Kato works as a chief surgeon of abdominal organ transplants at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
He graduated from medical school in Osaka, Japan and developed the technique which involves removing the cancerous cells from organs. It is known as “ex-vivo” resection.
In the procedure, doctors remove the affected organs from the patient and operate on the organs individually to remove the cancerous cells. After they are operated on, they are put back into the body.
He has performed dozens of the surgeries but Moore’s was more complex because it involved removing six major organs.
The procedure took 20 hours and involved three teams of surgeons who performed it on June 5, 2011.
Afterward, Moore endured a grueling healing process, which has left her with less energy than before, but she is alive and well.
She now lives in Boston with her husband Dan and children, and said she is just thankful to be living, even loving that her daughter is entering her troubled teen years.
“While other moms are miserable going through the teenage years, I am reveling in the eye rolls and attitude I get and watching their lacrosse and basketball games - to just getting to take care of them,” Moore said.