Last modified: January 9, 2023
When Tamron Little was pregnant with Caleb, her first child, doctors noticed a growth in her abdomen during a routine ultrasound. It wasn’t long before a mesothelioma diagnosis was confirmed in 2007.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Although Little isn’t sure how her mesothelioma developed, she has theorized it came from secondhand asbestos exposure.
She underwent successful cytoreductive surgery, hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy and intensity modulated radiation therapy just months after giving birth to son Caleb.
Little, who lived in North Carolina at the time, credits her recovery to excellent care by Dr. Edward Levine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The fact that her mesothelioma was caught early is thanks to Caleb, she said, and the ultrasound that would save her life.
More than a decade later, Little is the proud mother of four children, is also an ordained minister and is enjoying her family’s move to Florida. She is grateful for the support of her family, especially her husband Samuel. Her doctor calls her a “walking miracle.”
Because of her experiences as a mesothelioma survivor, Little has firsthand knowledge to share with those facing this devastating disease. It’s one of the reasons she became an Asbestos.com contributing writer in 2018. She also hopes to inspire others with her positive outlook on life.
Community Engagement and Leadership
Little has embraced her role as a leader in the community, helping other mesothelioma survivors and their families build connections and become engaged. She has been a featured participant in webinars for The Mesothelioma Center, a key speaker at health forums and has raised awareness for advocacy efforts such as Miles for Meso, walking with her family and discussing the events on social media.
- Cancer Moonshot Goals Forum: Cancer Moonshot, a federal initiative President Joe Biden launched as vice president in 2016, has been reignited to accelerate research, improve quality of life for cancer patients and improve life expectancies and prognoses. In 2022, Little was invited to participate in the Cancer Moonshot Forum at the White House along with leaders in research, health care, academic institutions and foundations. Little, as well as fellow cancer survivors, were able to share their cancer stories.
- WEGO Health Awards: In recognition of her work as a survivor and patient leader, Little was nominated for several WEGO Health awards. WEGO Health is a network of patient influencers, advocates, organizations and medical professionals with the goal of positively transforming health care.
- Get Screened Campaign: She partnered with the American Cancer Society for its 2021 “Get Screened” campaign. The campaign was designed to encourage regular cancer screening tests, many of which had been on hold because of COVID-19, to boost early detection and help make earlier treatment possible.
- Stupid Cancer Panelist: As a speaker on Stupid Cancer’s Body Image Discussion Panel, Little was able to share her survivor story and inspire youth. Stupid Cancer is an organization focused on adolescent and young adult cancer, dedicated to helping young cancer patients “get busy living.”
- Working with the FDA: Little recently worked with the Food and Drug Administration Oncology Center of Excellence Rare Cancers Program, which is committed to promoting the development of new drugs and biologics for patients with rare cancers. She participated in one of its patient advocacy meetings, representing the mesothelioma community in the discussion.