Alison Arnesen Cowan was a 44-year-old litigation paralegal at the top of her career, and an active and enthusiastic member of her church and community. That all changed the last week of January 2010 when Alison and her husband David J Cowan Sr received the devastating results of a routine diagnostic procedure that revealed a 5cm malignant tumor. Subsequent imaging showed that the cancer was metastatic. Alison and David fought the fight and rode the rollercoaster for eleven months and in the end Alison lost her battle with cancer and passed from liver failure.
The Story of the inception and launch of Ali's Alliance began on the evening of January 29th 2011. This particular evening David was at home after attending a large benefit for breast cancer research in West Palm Beach. The benefit event was held exactly 56 days after the passing of David's loving and beautiful wife Alison from Mucosal Melanoma. It occurred to David that all the hopes and plans he had in his life had been built around what they were going to do and in that moment he realized that fate had completely cleared his plate. And as bad as he felt, David knew that nothing he could do would bring Alison back to him, but there was an opportunity for him to provide a centralized resource center to reduce the time, energy and anxiety of finding information and support……an alliance in memory of Ali that could help so many people.
Looking back on the year he and Ali had from the day of the diagnosis, David realized there were distinct phases, so Ali’s Alliance is organized around those phases:
1) Shock, receiving the diagnosis and getting into the system.
2) The Battle, the actual process of fighting cancer and offering the care giving support necessary.
3) Aftermath, the process of bereavement and trying to reassemble the shattered pieces of a life.
During every part of this journey, Alison and David realized that there were services available to help them that were just not easy to find unless they really knew what they were looking for.