On Oct. 17, 2013, a surgical instrument called a power morcellator tore into the uterus of Amy Reed, an anesthesiologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, pulverizing what were believed to be benign fibroids.
Reed's "minimally invasive" hysterectomy, a routine procedure, was performed at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.
Alas, Reed's uterus contained an occult sarcoma, which the morcellator proceeded to spread through her abdominal pelvic cavity. Over ensuing months, as Reed battled to stay alive, her husband, Hooman Noorchashm, a cardiothoracic surgeon and, at the time, a lecturer at Harvard, waged a national campaign to put an end to the practice of power morcellation.
“Who says cancer and chemo have to get you down? We'll have the last laugh!” she wrote. “We want to show the world that dancing and laughter is the BEST medicine.”
Ayala says she was diagnosed with uterine sarcoma and has been fighting it since Dec. 2015. Scans in July showed the cancer spread to her spleen. Since then, she’s been going through a more aggressive chemo approach. A recent September scan showed her tumor had shrunk.
“We just wanted to inspire and motivate people in my position to not see cancer as such a depressing, sad, death sentence,” she told. “We also wanted to encourage people/loved ones/caregivers to get out of their comfort zones (as my chemo buddy Danielle did for me) and laugh, sing, dance through the pain! Laughter has really been the best medicine for me!”