Karen Linscott has never looked sick, but she battled chronic myeloid leukemia for over seven years. After two years in remission, she is now excited to be part of what could be a cure.
"I feel like I'm finally in a position to share," said Linscott. "I've tried so hard to be normal for my children. The kids were five and eight years old, and they really don't remember me without leukemia. It's kind of been a journey."
Linscott was diagnosed with the rare cancer in her white blood cells in 2005. A year later, she was diagnosed with breast cancer too.
"I knew we had been through a lot when my son was making a bookmark in first or second grade, and he said, 'We Race for the Cure. We do Light the Night,'" recalled Linscott. "It's kind of like, 'Oh, I'm gonna start crying.' What other 8-year-old says that?"
Over time, Linscott developed a dreaded gene mutation that made her leukemia resistant to treatment. She had two options: A bone marrow transplant or a clinical trial at the University of Michigan.
After dozens of trips to see her Michigan doctor, the FDA approved Ponatinib, which is also called Iclusig. Dr. Noel Laudi, with Minnesota Oncology, doesn't treat Linscott; however, he said the new drug is like having a master key unlocking the door to a cure for this type of leukemia.
"It would be nice if we had a tablet like this for each and every cancer, not just for 1 percent of the cancers," Laudi told FOX 9 News. "But for those patients, at least I can go with a smile and say, 'We have a treatment it's working, for you are feeling great.'"
Being included in the groundbreaking clinical trial has also been a source of inspiration for Linscott.
"I kind of feel like a pioneer, "Linscott said. "It's exciting to be it's an honor to be part of a cure because this is the last mutation, the hold-out for CML. "
All along, Linscott's goal has been to live to see her kids go off to college. Now at 13 and 16 years old, they are getting close.
"I'm so grateful I've had this time with the kids."