A North Texas woman is inspiring others by opening up about her cancer journey.
Allison Kuban was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer on her 31st birthday and it's what she's doing now that may rewrite the cancer journey of countless others.
She and her husband Eric are just beginning their lives together.
They got married in April, exactly one year after Allison started to feel ill shortly after she arrived home from a trip to France.
"I thought I had a food allergy or just something that I caught after I came back from our trip to France," she said.
Instead, doctors found a tumor in her pancreas.
It is a rare form of cancer which affects one percent of all pancreatic cancer patients.
"I didn't know what to think. I didn't know where to start. I didn't know what to do," Allison said.
She started chemotherapy, but on her doctor's advice decided to do genetic testing of the tumor and when the results came back, she and her doctors were shocked.
"He did the testing and knew it was a needle in a haystack, but they actually called him and he said he was so excited because they never called him back but they did call and said they had found a mutated gene."
That discovery meant Allison could stop chemotherapy and enroll in a clinical trial of a drug designed to target the gene mutation, called RET fusion, causing her cancer.
Since she started the trial in January at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, the Kubans said the tumor has shrunk by 40 percent.
Allison no longer has to deal with the side effects of chemotherapy.
She is now on a new mission to inspire others to explore all treatment options and never give up hope.
"Miracles do happen. You have to hang on to the glimpse of hope, even if it's one percent. You never know, you might be the needle in the haystack that gets to be as lucky as I am."
To learn more about pancreatic cancer clinical trials, click here.