Emily's Cancer Fund

$11,235 of $100k goal

Raised by 134 people in 27 months
Phillip Recchia  MONTICELLO, IN
In March of 2009, Emily was diagnosed with a rare form of tongue cancer.  She was only 21 years old at the time, and did not fit the typical description of an oral cancer patient.  Typically, tongue cancer occurs in older men who smoke, drink, or have a family history of oral cancer.  Emily was a young woman who did not smoke, drink, and had no family history of oral cancer.  Doctors informed her she had a 30% chance of survival. This was devastating news to Emily and her family, especially because she had already overcome serious medical issues in the past.  

When Emily was only 14 years old, just one month before her 15th birthday, she had to undergo an invasive spinal surgery to correct Scoliosis, which is an abnormal curving of the spine, and again, just one month before her 16th birthday.  Emily was able to make it through these surgeries, only to be diagnosed with cancer a few years later. 

During Emily's Partial Glossectomy (removal of a portion of the tongue) doctor's discovered the cancer was larger than they had previously believed.  The doctors informed her that she had less than one year to live.  Miraculously, after 30 rounds of radiation, 7 rounds of chemo therapy, and a difficult surgery (partial glossectomy), she was declared cancer free! 

Emily was triumphant, even under devastating circumstances, and was determined to reach her goals in life.  She graduated from Northern Illinois University Magna Cum Laude and was the first ever recipient of the Overcoming Adversity award.  

On May 24, 2014, Emily married her soul mate, Bryan.  She was looking forward to starting a new chapter in her life with her husband.  Bryan and Emily recently purchased their first home together as newlyweds.  After 5 years, Emily was finally able to pay off her massive medical bills this month.  They adopted an adorable shelter dog, which they named Patchy.  Emily's fairy tale ending to a tragic set of obstacles made way for a new beginning. 

Just when Emily was able to settle in to her new life, tragedy struck again.  On Wednesday, December 10, 2014, Emily went in for a biopsy of her tongue.  She had been experiencing pain in her tongue and was having difficulty speaking and swallowing.  The doctor was sure the biopsy would come back negative for cancer.  When the pathologist informed him the biopsy had come back positive, he was in disbelief.  The doctor, himself, decided to review the results of the biopsy to be sure.  Emily was diagnosed with tongue cancer for the second time.  

She is having a CT Scan to determine whether the cancer has spread to her jaw.  Once the results are in, a plan of action will be put into place and will begin immediately.  

Emily now faces more surgery, more radiation, more chemo therapy, and more heartache.  This means her medical bills, which were finally paid off this month, will accumulate once again.  She is only 2 classes away from receiving her Master's degree, but she will most likely not be able to attend classes for an undetermined amount of time.  This will cause her student loans, equaling more than $80,000, to come out of deferment. 

We know we can't relieve the overwhelming stress she is under due to her cancer, but we are hoping we can relieve some of the financial hardship she is facing because of her diagnosis.  Emily is a 27 year old newlywed who should be enjoying married life, planning for the future, and beginning a new chapter.  Instead, she is fighting for her life for the fourth time.  

Through all of this, Emily has managed to maintain a positive attitude about her future.  She is certain she will be able to kick cancer's butt a second time!  

Even if you aren't able to donate to Emily's cause, please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.  Share this page so others can become a part of Emily's story.  

Thank you for taking the time to read this.  

God Bless. 
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Update 6
Posted by Brianna Leonard
26 months ago
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Bowman Custom Landscaping (BCL) has graciously offered to match any GoFundMe donations, up to a maximum total of $2,000. Please SHARE and DONATE to help Emily in her battle against cancer.

Emily's current medical bills exceed $10,000. Any help is greatly appreciated. We need everyone's support to assist her during this difficult time.

God Bless!
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Update 5
Posted by Brianna Leonard
26 months ago
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Update on Emily:

Emily had her second round of Chemotherapy today. The doctor told her that this would be the week to get a haircut because she will most likely lose her by her next treatment.

She is having a feeding tube implanted on January 26. This will allow her to receive additional nutrition supplements. They are also inserting a PICC line - an IV line that goes into her chest - that will allow the doctors to draw blood from and provide further Chemotherapy treatments.

Through this all, Emily is remaining positive and trusting in God - whatever His will may be.
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Update 4
Posted by Brianna Leonard
27 months ago
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Here's the most recent update for Emily. Emily was released from the hospital for Christmas, but has to go back this coming week to begin chemotherapy and surgery. It has been a long and stressful 2 weeks, so far.
Emily at Chicago University Hospital
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Update 3
Posted by Brianna Leonard
27 months ago
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Emily was admitted to the University of Chicago hospital yesterday to be put on a feeding tube. She has suffered from weight loss and the doctors feel this is the best way for her to regain nutrition before treatment.

She received a second biopsy to map out her tongue and learned that the cancer is now 1 cm and is placed in a difficult portion of her tongue to begin immediate surgery. Once she reaches a satisfactory weight, Emily will begin chemotherapy to try and shrink the cancer. Surgery has been scheduled for the end of January.

Please share and donate on Facebook and Twitter with a "public" share setting. The more awareness that can be raised, the more everyone can help Emily in her second battle against cancer.

God Bless
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Read a Previous Update
Tami Brongiel
26 months ago

Hi Emily, I am a friend of your Aunt Lorri (since High School). She was telling me about your courageous fight with cancer recently when she was visiting New Lenox, IL. My Brother-in-law Josh is also fighting the same cancer as you at the same hospital (University of Chicago). He is home recovering from surgery and already went through chemo and radiation. The cancer is in remission. Josh did not have any of the typical precursers for this type of cancer either. I pray that you will stay strong and let God, the great physician, work his miracles on you. You can beat this, you already have! May your guardian angel surround you and the Holy Spirit bring you peace that surpasses all understanding. Fight the good fight my dear. Jesus loves you very much, so much so that He suffered and died for you. Cling to Jesus. I will pray for you. -Tami

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Maria Alexandra Alves
27 months ago

Hang on, Emily, miracles do happen!

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$11,235 of $100k goal

Raised by 134 people in 27 months
Created December 11, 2014
AW
$25
Adam Warlock
23 months ago
LR
$100
Lorri Roth
23 months ago

Keep fighting Emily!!! The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter every day.

ZD
$200
Zachary Denham
24 months ago

JB
$250
James Brock
24 months ago
BG
$20
Ben Grimm
24 months ago
NW
$25
Nick Wertz
24 months ago
MD
$35
Marilyn DeChant
24 months ago

I am grateful that I learned about Emily's struggles. I have kept her in frequent prayers.

MR
$25
Mary Roth
25 months ago

Love you lots! Keep fighting, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing brighter! See you in June!

KD
$50
Karen Davies
25 months ago
MM
$20
Machine Man
25 months ago
Tami Brongiel
26 months ago

Hi Emily, I am a friend of your Aunt Lorri (since High School). She was telling me about your courageous fight with cancer recently when she was visiting New Lenox, IL. My Brother-in-law Josh is also fighting the same cancer as you at the same hospital (University of Chicago). He is home recovering from surgery and already went through chemo and radiation. The cancer is in remission. Josh did not have any of the typical precursers for this type of cancer either. I pray that you will stay strong and let God, the great physician, work his miracles on you. You can beat this, you already have! May your guardian angel surround you and the Holy Spirit bring you peace that surpasses all understanding. Fight the good fight my dear. Jesus loves you very much, so much so that He suffered and died for you. Cling to Jesus. I will pray for you. -Tami

+ Read More
Maria Alexandra Alves
27 months ago

Hang on, Emily, miracles do happen!

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