He saved my life, twice. Dr. Jeffery Freidman

Member First Name
| March, 25 2024 | for Jeffrey P. Friedman, MD

I feel that Dr. Jeffery Freidman saved my life - twice. My story is a small miracle. At age 62, a tiny skin mole biopsied as Stage 2 melanoma; a year earlier, my wife’s mole biopsied the same. Dr. Freidman insisted and facilitated going to Memorial Sloan Kettering for treatment- not the nearest center for us, but the ‘best’. For me, this was life saving, as my local dermatologist miss-staged the biopsy. Sloan found it to more serious. My wife’s melanoma was handled easily at Sloan. And so was my surgery, even though a bit more complicated, with the new staging. However, four and five years later, 2019, my remission ended, as my melanoma transitioned to Stage 3 and then Stage 4. Sloan Kettering, placed me on monthly immunotherapy infusions, and progress registered on CAT scans at Sloan (MSKK) in NYC. It truly seemed to be a miracle that I was at Sloan (and the Sloan scientist that developed my treatment had won the Nobel prize the year before.) However, about half way through treatment, I developed the dreaded side affect of this treatment - colitis. Mid year, while at home, I felt so defeated, weaken from weight loss, and dehydrated. My wife looked at me worried. I believe it was the weekend, and we didn’t know whether to call the local 911, or call Sloan- we were panicked. My wife called Dr. Freidman, after hours, on his cell phone. Dr. Freidman calmly explained that Sloan had a special Urgent Care (UC) facility just for Sloan cancer patients and this was THE only place to take me…even given the nearly 1.5 hour drive. Dr. Friedman called Sloan UC ahead for us, and facilitated our arrival. It was life saving- a second time. Sloan Kettering Urgent Care took care of me. I had to quit immunotherapy, to save my colon. But even so, given the half-life of the treatment, I continued to improve for months…until it stopped, and my main tumor returned to its original size. Basically, I had zero chance of surviving. Luckily, ancillary tumors were killed with my treatment, with only the one residing in my liver, growing wildly. As a last chance, Sloan proposed a liver partial dissection, followed by 12 months on the original immunotherapy, coupled with a brand new anti colitis infusion. The Sloan surgeon told me that even a few years ago, they may not have tried this procedure. For me, it was successful, and I start, in 2024, my 5th year of complete remission. And during those years, the GI doctors at Sloan followed up with my colitis treatment, so that in 2023, my colon was completely determined to be colitis free. I was able to discontinue those colitis infusions. I lived to see my new grandchildren. I cannot thank Dr. Jeffrey Friedman enough for intelligently steering me to the fine institution that Sloan Kettering is and the cutting edge treatments they offer, and for Dr. Friedman being available at all hours, to help us make decisions about my care even in my post surgery and remission stage. I truly recognized the service that Dr. Friedman gave to me, and my wife, afforded by the MDVIP program that enables him to provide this level of patient care that cannot be replicated or compared with my previous group GP practice where it might take days to get an appointment, and going to the local ER is the default option. I truly enjoyed writing this letter of appreciation for Dr. Jeffery Freidman, MD. Thank you, Dr. Freidman.