ERiCURE, Renal Medullary Cancer

On September 10, 2012, I woke up xscrewciating pain in my back and right-side of my stomach. I decided to get my four year old son and me dressed and head to the emergency room. While being seen, the doctor ordered blood work, x-rays, and CT scans. After anxiously waiting for hours, the doctor walked in with hesitation and told me that I have KIDNEY CANCER! I laid there alone, numb, shocked, and in total disbelief. I immediately contacted my family, which came to my aid to support and embrace me. Shortly thereafter, I was transported to UPMC for further testing. Several doctors and surgeons came to see me to discuss the nature of my illness, which was described as my "A Team." After extensive testing, I learned that the cancer started in my kidney and had spread to my lungs and throat. Day 2 in the hospital, one of the doctors had came to me to discuss my medical history and stated that "if this is the type of tumor we think it is, its linked to people that have sickle cell traits. Right at that moment my mom replied and said, "Erica has sickle cell traits,we known that since she was a baby".  The doctors still weren't a 100% sure of what I had and the diagnosis, so they scheduled a biopsy on September 24. The surgery was performed on my neck to remove some of the tissue for testing. Several days passed and on October 5, the oncologist confirmed that I had Renal Medullary Carcinoma.  He explained to me this was a rare type of cancer and aggressive, therefore my treatment had to be more aggressive. My doctor advised me that he had already referred me to the Hillman Treatment Center and to expect a call very soon. October 15 was my first day of chemo and February 1 I had my kidney removed. So far everything is going good, but I still have one more surgery to go. Doctor's don't have much research or studies on this cancer because its so rare and life expectancy is anywhere from a couple months to a year. I have a feeling I'm going to be success story. I'm asking for help because my insurance company is denying my claims, claiming that my cancer is a pre-existing condition, which is incorrect. I have numerous medical bills, a car, house, child, and other needs that I still have to upkeep. I ask that if you're able to please make a donation and spread the word about my situation. God bless!

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Erica Yelder 
West Mifflin, PA
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