Darby Steadman, who is the daughter of a breast cancer survivor, took the most aggressive approach to her breast cancer diagnosis: a double mastectomy. Despite a less than 1 percent chance of recurrence, cancer returned. Only this time in her lymph nodes and spine. Steadman’s second diagnosis led her to investigate clinical trials. In October of 2008, she participated in a cancer vaccine trial. Her perspective on medicine was forever changed, convincing her of the importance of scientific research in the war against cancer for future generations. Steadman quickly knew she had to share her story and the impact clinical trials had on her survival, legacy, and hope, and she went on to found Driving Miss Darby Foundation Inc. in 2009.
The ability of today’s scientists to develop cutting edge clinical treatments will stagnate unless they can recruit and retain study patients, through a process called accrual. Only then, can the medical community put into practice the promising results of research, such as the trial Steadman participated in.
Driving Miss Darby Foundation began as a result of Steadman's passion for supporting patients who, like her, have chosen experimental treatment for their disease. The goal of the foundation is to promote scientific discovery and help facilitate access to experimental treatment for patients who otherwise could not afford it. Driving Miss Darby Foundation helps to reduce the burdens that trial patients face during their treatment commitment by defraying the costs associated with travel, lodging and medical expenses not covered by insurance.