Give My Wife a Chance against Cancer: Please Grant Compassionate Use of MK-3475 for Mikaela Right Away
  • Petitioning Scot Ebbinghaus

This petition will be delivered to:

Executive Director, Merck
Scot Ebbinghaus
Chairman of the Board and CEO, Merck
Kenneth C. Frazier
Senior Vice President and Head of Oncology, Merck
Dr. Gary Gilliand
Vice President Oncology Clinical Research, Merck
Eric Rubin

Give My Wife a Chance against Cancer: Please Grant Compassionate Use of MK-3475 for Mikaela Right Away

    1. Keith Knapp
    2. Petition by

      Keith Knapp

      Folsom, CA

I married my high school sweetheart after we graduated from college in 2011. Two years later, she was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

After 6 months of treatment at UC San Francisco, we are running out of FDA-approved options. There is, however, a promising line of research involving a new treatment which enables the body to attack the cancer by inhibiting a cloaking mechanism that tumors use to disguise themselves from the immune system. There's a race right now in the pharmaceutical world to develop these immunotherapies, called anti-PD-1 or anti-PD-L1 immunotherapies, and Bristol-Myers Squibb, Merck, and Genentech are each quickly developing their own immunotherapy drugs.*

These immunotherapies have demonstrated immense potential in previous trials on kidney cancer patients and could be FDA-approved 2015; however, Mikaela is ineligible for the current trials due to a variety of reasons. Sadly, we just don't have time to wait for these drugs to become FDA-approved. 

After absorbing the blow of yet another clinical trial rejection, we consulted with oncologists at Stanford University Medical Center and were informed of the FDA's compassionate use option. We are still eagerly pursuing clinical trials, but at this point we've decided it's best to start mounting a compassionate use campaign as well.

We have identified an oncologist willing to oversee the compassionate use of one of these drugs once use has been granted. Now all we need to do is get Merck, Genentech, or Bristol-Myers Squibb to agree to provide this potentially life-saving medication!

We fully understand the risks with experimental medicine, but we have nothing to lose and much to gain. Your signature and those of your network will help us publicize our story and hopefully one of these companies will bite at the chance to be involved in the #WeGotThis community. I personally can't thank you enough for taking the time to engage with our cause.

Please share widely right now! If you have any media contacts who could help us get this link in front of more people, please put us in touch. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to stay in the loop!

Most importantly, please email me -- -- if you have any connections to decision-makers at Merck, Genentech, or Bristol-Myers Squibb.


Keith & Mikaela (get to know Mikaela a little better here)

*If you'd like to learn more about anti-PD-1 immunotherapies, here's a great New York Times article. For the sci-curious, here's an explanation from Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Recent signatures


    1. A Final Update

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer

      It's difficult to type these words, but Mikaela has been moved to hospice care. It's the clear decision at this point. Please see this blog post for more details:

      We Got This

      As our community approaches the size of our hometown of Sacramento, I have a final update to share: Mikaela has been transitioned to hospice care & I've decided to table the campaign to remove any distractions during this time. These are difficult words to type, but it's the clear choice at this point.

    2. #WeGotThis Shirts for Sale!

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer

      Share our story by wearing a shirt for your weekend errands! Available for only $15 at until Tuesday 4/8!


      Support Mikaela's fight against cancer by wearing the official #WEGOTTHIS shirt! (Both v-neck & crew neck are available.)Funds will be used to help expenses related to our global campaign.

    3. Reached 400,000 signatures
    4. 300,000, and Gaining Speed!

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer

      Mikaela & I want to thank you all for the continued support here on our petition.

      We ask that you help us by using this petition as a springboard to get involved with our fight! In the past week, members of the #WEGOTTHIS community (what we call our supporters) have designed logos, sent us phone numbers for decision-makers at each of these companies, informed us of clinical trials not listed online, and much much more. We could not do this without all of you.

      To join #WEGOTTHIS in giving Mikaela a chance at living past 25, you have several options:
      1. Like the Facebook page --
      2. Subscribe to our blog -- visit and click "Follow She Got This" button at the bottom-left of the page
      3. Follow on Twitter -- @keithknappjr (

      The next 2 weeks are key, and we rely on these 3 channels (Facebook, blog, Twitter) to communicate directly with the #WEGOTTHIS community.

      Keith & Mikaela

    5. Reached 300,000 signatures
    6. Nearing 150,000!

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer

      Thanks for all the support! Here's the clip from the #wegotthis segment on CBS Sacramento last night.

      If you want to stay in the loop with updates about our fight to give Mikaela a chance against cancer, please join the #wegotthis team at

      #wegotthis on CBS News Sacramento (10/24/13)

      This is CBS 13's segment on #wegotthis from the 10pm news on 10/24/13. To sign our petition, visit Follow our story on Facebook at Thanks! Keith

    7. Reached 100,000 signatures
    8. A Message from Mikaela

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer
      A Message from Mikaela

      Mikaela has been overwhelmed by the support from each of you in the #wegotthis community and wanted to say a special thank you as we enter our 2nd week. Sign the petition at and join our community at

    9. Health Update + First News Feature

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer

      First, Mikaela is doing very well lately, and the hospital has moved her out of ICU. She could be home as soon as tomorrow! She was feeling good enough today to read through a bunch your comments on this petition, and it brought her to tears! Thank you all for taking such an interest in my wife's health.

      Secondly, as many of you already know from following our Facebook page - - we were featured on the local ABC news here in Sacramento (News 10). Check it out at & share it with your network! Hoping this can help us reach a larger audience soon.


    10. Reached 50,000 signatures
    11. It's a Great Day!

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer

      We've crafted a media plan and tomorrow is a HUGE day. Please visit to be a part of this weekend of action and help us target every single region listed!

      UPDATE: We've been receiving contact from employees at both Merck and BMS, and they're helping us to get our message in front of the right people. Thank you all for sharing your connections -- we got this!

      She Got This

      We have crafted a media plan with the help of many of our followers from Mikaela's PR days. We launch tomorrow with an interview on News 10 here in Sacramento, and from that interview we'll be culling a great deal of content to make a massive nationwide push for Mikaela to receive single patient access...

    12. Reached 40,000 signatures
    13. We Need Your Help!

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer

      Wow ~ over 10,000 new signatures today. We are at a critical juncture in the process, and need some assistance with finding contact information for difficult-to-reach decision-makers. If you're a good sleuth and have some time, check out to help us out!

    14. Reached 25,000 signatures
    15. 7500!

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer

      Way to go team ~ it seems we've reached some invisible threshold, because my email inbox is stuffed to the brim this morning with media requests and the like.

      I wanted to give more of a personal feel for Mikaela, so here's a link to some photos I put up on a now-defunct blog that I put together earlier in the treatment process:

      I also want to say thank you to the person in Oregon who spent their own money on promoting this petition. doesn't reveal your identity to me, but you rock!

      Please don't hesitate to email me -- -- with tips, media contacts, words of encouragement, etc. All of the support helps, and it's exciting to see this petition start spreading beyond our 2nd degree connections.

      With wholehearted appreciation,

    16. Reached 7,000 signatures
    17. Nearing 5,000

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer

      Almost to 5000 in less than 3 days ~ thanks for all of your support! We'll be getting an initial response from BMS in the next week, and we're waiting to pursue local news coverage until after then.

      2 things you can do in the meantime:
      1. Share the link to this petition on your FB, Twitter, etc. Here's a shortened link to make things easier:
      2. Get in touch with me if you have any media contacts that we could work with to publicize this petition. My email is

      Mikaela is in the hospital now trying to get pain under control, but the 5,000 signatures in 1 weekend definitely put a smile on her face. Keep up the good work!


    18. Reached 4,000 signatures
    19. Day 0

      Keith Knapp
      Petition Organizer

      Mikaela in hospital getting blood transfusion. We'll be receiving an initial response from BMS about our compassionate use application next week, but it's not too early to start collecting signatures in case of a denial.
      We are going to make this happen.


    Reasons for signing

    • Barbara Patch TAMPA, FL
      • about 11 hours ago

      I care.

    • Jerika Steele REDWOOD CITY, CA
      • about 12 hours ago

      if this were you or your wife/husband would you want this drug? of course and you can because you work there but not all of us are so lucky. this is something that could or will eventually take this womans life....if the drug fails then those of us facing the possibility we could develop cancer will be thankful because it means get back to work guys!! the word compassion is unheard of by these pharmaceutical companies...perhaps just using the word human, human use.

    • lori rogers STERLINGTON, LA
      • about 22 hours ago

      I believe. ..

    • Carol Cherill WILDWOOD, NJ
      • 1 day ago

      My Father is a cancer survivor,

    • winston Lewis SAN ANTONIO, TX
      • 4 days ago

      I've tried a number of drugs, and been on two trial studies, to no avail. Please make these drugs affordable for the public so we can live ....


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