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At the time, Long, who is Black, said her doctor in Dayton, OH, told her she was not a candidate for surgery and suggested palliative care.

When the chemo stopped working after 3 months, her oncologist at Duke referred her to a colleague at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she was accepted into a clinical trial.

It’s not an unfamiliar story: people traveling, often long distances, to take part in clinical trials they hope will save their lives.

Marya Shegog, PhD, health equity and diversity coordinator at Lazarex, says a patient travels an average of 500 miles to participate in a trial.

The financial hurdles often prevent patients from taking part in clinical trials, Shegog says.

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