Buddy Check: Patrick’s Story


(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Each month on Eyewitness News we share stories of survival and hope from right here in our area.   In this month’s Buddy Check.  Eyewitness News Morning Anchor Kelly Byrne introduces us to one man who says a clinical trial saved his life.

As a professor at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine Patrick Coughlin teaches future doctors about the human body and how to best treat a patient.

A few years ago, he found himself learning from doctors about a devastating diagnosis.

“He took me down to an examining room and agreed that something was there that wasn’t supposed to be there.”

After noticing a large lump in this abdomen and undergoing scans and a biopsy.. Patrick was diagnosed with Diffused large b-cell Lymphoma.
Within one week — he started chemotherapy.
“We were actually able to reduce the size of the tumor but not eradicate it.” he told Eyewitness News.

He underwent additional rounds of chemotherapy — lasting months.
Then.. a stem cell transplant.
“There was regrowth of the tumor so we had to take a different approach each time.” Said Patrick

Two years have passed since his original diagnosis.
Two years of frustration .. because none of the treatments were working.
That’s when he was admitted into a clinical trial for targeted immunotherapy.

“They took some blood from me, and they took it to the lab and put it in a culture dish and separated some of the cells they wanted. And then they introduced essentially a piece of foreign DNA.”

A few months later. a scan showed the tumor was gone.
Finally.. a complete response.

Now two years later, what was a clinical trial is FDA approved known as “Cart 19 Targeted Immunotherapy.”

“Because I was able to go through the clinical trial, obviously it has been successful for me and for patients. But also what it means is that nobody else has to go through what I did.” Said, Patrick.

And this is your monthly reminder to contact your buddy and remind them to do self-breast exam it is a call that can save a life,

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About Buddy Check

Each month, we feature people and events in the fight against Breast Cancer and other devastating cancers. We share inspiring stories of survival from people throughout Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania in hopes it will help others live a healthy, happy life.

Gallery of Hope

Awareness, screenings, and early detection are the keys in the fight against breast cancer. If detected early, the five-year survival rate for localized breast cancer is 97%. That’s why Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania created the Gallery of Hope.

Since 2000, the Gallery of Hope has been sharing the stories of breast cancer survivors from throughout northeastern and north central Pennsylvania . . . women and men whose experiences help us educate others.

If you know someone who's battled breast cancer and been an inspiration to others, nominate them for this year’s Gallery of Hope by clicking on the box below. And help us spread the word by displaying the traveling Gallery at your facility or event. Simply click on the "Request" link below.

Nominate a survivor from your community.

Learn More


October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While most people are aware of breast cancer, many forget to take the steps to have a plan to detect the disease in its early stages and encourage others to do the same. We have made a lot of progress but still have a long way to go and need your help!

Learn more at www.nationalbreastcancer.org.


The National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (NBCAM) is a collaboration of national public service organizations, professional medical associations, and government agencies working together to promote breast cancer awareness, share information on the disease, and provide greater access to services.

Since its inception more than 25 years ago, NBCAM has been at the forefront of promoting awareness of breast cancer issues and has evolved along with the national dialogue on breast cancer. NBCAM recognizes that, although many great strides have been made in breast cancer awareness and treatment, there remains much to be accomplished. Today, we remain dedicated to educating and empowering women to take charge of their own breast health.

Learn More at www.nbcam.org.

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