"There is nothing that makes me happier or fills my heart more than being a part of the lives of my wife... and two sons..." To Barry Schatz, the primary joy in life is his family. Recently, at a CMLRP-funded Investigators meeting (Road to a Cure, 2006), Barry dedicated the moment of silence to all those whose loved ones have been diagnosed with CML. He also revealed how difficult it was for him to explain his own diagnosis to his young sons, and he reflected on how the presence of this life-threatening disease has dramatically changed his perspective of the world. It has also significantly altered the worlds of those closest to him.
"It is really only those who have been through this process who can appreciate how deep and far-reaching this impact is, communicate it, and help others undergoing similar experiences." Since Barry's diagnosis, a significant overlap has developed between his personal and professional lives: Ironically, as Associate Director of Administration for the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center of Loyola University Medical Center, Barry oversees operations for much of the Center's research activities, outreach programs, and strategic initiatives. Apart from his daily job and since his diagnosis with CML, he has established a longstanding relationship with the Leukemia Research Foundation, which provided support during his treatment, and he has become an active member on committees for the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP) and the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR). Outside of his CML advocacy work, Barry is also involved with the Mankind Project and Boys to Men - Chicago, mentoring programs supporting adults and youth.
Barry was introduced to the CMLRP through the Leukemia Research Foundation and participated in the CMLRP peer review of proposals in 2006. He acknowledges that, at first, he was skeptical about how his views would be received by the scientific reviewers and the CMLRP staff but states that he quickly found "a sincere commitment" and positive reaction to the contribution of the consumer reviewers. He also learned that there is a "heartfelt commitment to pursue an ultimate cure for this disease" within the research community. Barry believes that "...it is important for the general public to be aware that significant advances, as well as refinements to current treatment approaches, continue to be pursued by the CML scientific community. For those who are currently battling CML, including those who support them, there is hope. For those who have previously battled this disease, both successfully and not, there is hope for others."