Friends living with blood cancer share support for “Right To Try” Act

CLINTON, Iowa -- Francie Hill and Daniel Bott have been friends for nearly 10 years.

The two met after Francie was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer.  Someone told Francie to get ahold of Daniel, who had been diagnosed with the same thing two years before.

They attend a support group where they can talk about their cancer, but as Daniel says, they often don't mention the cancer at all, and wind up talking about other aspects of their lives.

"A lot of time we just have fun," he said.

On Wednesday, May 30, President Donald Trump signed the "Right to Try Act into law, giving people with terminal illnesses access to treatment that's not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It's something that's already been enacted in Iowa, Illinois and several other states, but now is the law of the land.

Francie and Daniel are both managing their cancer, but support the law, seeing the benefit for someone who might be in dire need of unapproved treatment.

"I think it`s a good thing, not that I'm even close to having any of that yet, but if I was that far along, I think it`s a good thing," said Daniel.

"If I was given, for instance, three months to live and I knew there was something that could maybe help me, my hope would be that I wouldn't have to travel to Denmark or Germany to get it, I would like it here," Francie said.

And although she sees the benefit of the "Right to Try" Act, she said she still would like to see patients proceed with caution.

Some opponents of the act argue that it could give patients false hope.

"I like the word right to 'try,'" said Francie, "and it doesn't say right to succeed, or right to fail, it's right to try - isn't it? The semantics are very good on it."

Both Francie and Daniel find support in their spouses as well; Francie's husband Allan and Daniel's wife Michelle.