The Parotid Patient Project is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization that was founded by our Executive Director, Heidi Semann, a patient who was diagnosed with a parotid gland tumor in 2016. While researching this condition, Heidi realized that there was a limited amount of information about this condition available on the internet, and the available information was outdated and focused on all of the potential negative outcomes of treatment for parotid tumors.
Heidi became actively involved in a parotid tumor support group and discovered that many parotid patients were frustrated by the lack of information regarding this condition. She also learned that many of her fellow patients were terrified to undergo treatment after reading the outdated and negative information on the internet. Like Heidi, many parotid tumor patients had been misdiagnosed for years, which led to devastating consequences for many of those patients.
After having a successful surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, Heidi became a passionate advocate for parotid patients and volunteered her time to work on several projects with her head and neck surgeon, Eric J. Moore, M.D., aimed at providing patients with current and accurate information about this condition, so they could make informed decisions about their own medical care.
It became clear to Heidi while working on these projects that so much more needed to be done, including raising funds for research. Heidi created the Parotid Patient Project to help educate patients and physicians about this condition, to advocate for and support parotid patients through this process, and to raise funds for much needed medical research.