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Who We Are

We are a patient driven organization for BRAF positive patients, survivors and their loved ones.

We bring together research, information and hope for all with a BRAF biomarker.

We strive to inspire comfort, hope, and community to fight in our common battle.

BRAF Bombers aims to provide knowledge of education and resources, including clinical trials, for cutting edge therapies. 

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Educate

We provide answers to your questions about BRAF, updates on clinical trials and medical breakthroughs, medical conference summaries, and more.

Empower

By providing education and support, our ultimate goal is to empower you and kick cancer’s BRAF together!

Engage

Through our Facebook group, Stories of Hope, and frequent events, we will connect you with leading experts in BRAF research, people who have been in your shoes, and more.

About the Founder
Debbie Pickworth
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On March 4, 2013, at the age of 43 and being in the hospital for a week do to pneumonia and having fluid drained to give me breathing relief, I went into my doctors’ office thinking I would be getting my work release to return to work. When I walked into the doctors’ office and was seen immediately, I knew in my gut something wasn't right. She came in and said, "This is not good news. You have lung cancer." From that moment on, I knew nothing would ever be the same again. Every emotion you can have, you have in that one moment.  Fear, Anger, disbelief, my husband, kids and grandkids all ran through my mind. In that one moment I thought my life was over. I watched my mother die of this when I was young so in my mind, this was the worst news I could of ever gotten. 

         Over the next few weeks, I was tested, biopsied, poked and prodded. If there was a test to be had, I had it done. All the while, everything going on around me was a blur. It was all happening in the blink of an eye. Finally the news came in. I had stage 4 lung cancer. The worst news I could of gotten. I knew what this meant in my mind. I didn't feel like I should have stage 4 lung cancer. I thought they were wrong. After all I don't smoke. I haven't smoked in more than 24 years. How could I have any lung cancer, let alone stage 4. Then something in my mind just switched gears. I came out of my poor pitiful me thinking and said to my self why not me. Better me than my kids or grandkids. It was time to go into survival mode. I started researching and went for a second opinion. Since the first biopsies didn’t show any FDA approved mutations genes, they sent my biopsies out for further testing. They also confirmed the stage 4 diagnoses.

         After all the testing, second opinions and a lot of research, I had learned I have NSCLC, Adenocarcinoma with the BRAF V600e mutation. I have had a thoracentesis, pleurodesis, and then a chemo port put in to start treatment. I started my treatment with 6 rounds of carbo, Alimta and Avastin. Then another 6 rounds of Alimta and Avastin until I needed a break. In 2013, there were no targeted treatment options for BRAF in Lung and there were no trials until 2015. I was able to stay stable from2014-2015 with no treatment and then a small progression. By the time my progression happened, there was a trial going on for BRAF V600e however it closed 2 weeks prior. Luckily my LC doctor was thinking outside of the box and found a melanoma doctor who was also running a BRAF trial and his trial was across cancer types so I was able to go on Dabrafenib and Trametinib and another study drug. I stayed on this trial for 2.5 years until the side effect removed me from trial. At this point I went back on Alimta maintenance for another 12 rounds then took another chemo break that lasted 24 months before another reoccurrence. Unfortunately, this reoccurrence happened at the exact time that covid shut everything down so some treatment options were not available to me and we didn’t feel that waiting was the right choice so I did 10 rounds of radiation then after some complications were resolved, I went back on Alimta maintenance and have been doing this since and so far am stable doing this. It is not clear why I am able to take chemo brakes for extended periods but I am thankful that I was able to.   

         I have a strong support system that has supported me in my journey this far and will continue to in the future. It is my goal to be someone else’s support because we all know it takes a village. Team Pickworth is my support system and we always say no one fights alone. 

Debbie Pickworth

Stories About Us

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