Never in a million years do any of us think "you've got cancer" will be words we hear in our lifetime. And if we have thought about it, we imagine ourselves old and having had lived extraordinary lives before such a diagnosis. Truthfully no one imagines a cancer diagnosis at the young age of 29.

June 22, 2017 Danielle and I sat in the cold office waiting for the we got the lump out but don't worry it's not cancer news.... Well to quickly our lives were flipped upside down when "you've got an aggressive breast cancer" slipped out of the doctors mouth. So we sat there thinking to ourselves .. okay this is terrible news but there can't be much worse than that news, right? Wrong.

Turns out with a cancer diagnosis there are several subcategories making it more or less aggressive, harder or less difficult to treat. Danielle continued to get more bad news finding out she has Triple Negative Breast cancer, an aggressive type at the highest grade 3 meaning it grows and spreads quickly. Today we got the long awaited genetic testing results where our worst fears were confirmed and Danielle tested positive for the BRCA1 cancer genetic mutation and with that comes these terrifying statistics or 80% chance of getting a second breast cancer. And a 50% chance of getting ovarian cancer. Because of these statistics her treatment recommendation is a double mastectomy and hysterectomy as soon as Chemotherapy is finished, followed by radiation. 

Danielle has already had two surgeries to remove cancer from her body. She has had surgery to place a portacath in her chest for chemo and surgery to check her lymph nodes for spreading. This Friday Danielle will start an aggressive chemo treatment designed to kill any cancer cells lingering in her body. This treatment will last for 4 months leaving Danielle unable to work.

Through this process we were also informed that the chemo Danielle is going to have to endure will likely leave her infertile, news that is so difficult to accept. Danielle and I have discussed having a family since our second date where she reminds me to this day that on that date I ask her "you want kids right"?!? We are in the process of egg freezing treatments to hope that one day, cancer free, our family dream could come true. Today we are being told insurance is denying coverage for this process. We want nothing more than to one day start a family and if our appeal to insurance does not come through, these funds will also be used to help pay for such expenses.

It has been almost three weeks and quickly Danielle and I are learning what we are up against is going to take a village of love, support, and kindness. No one wants to be put in a position where they can't provide for themselves or their family. In a life changing event our finances are now extremely tight and making ends meet will be a challenge. Never did I imagine finding my family in this position. Cancer sucks and we need any help we can get.

Danielle is brave and the love you guys are showing her is gearing her up for the biggest fight of her life. I could never thank you enough for all that each of you have done.

We are asking for help to offset some of the medical bills and life changes Danielle's cancer treatment has thrown our way.

Again, we could never be grateful enough for YOU...our supportive friends, family and strangers, near and far. It is our intention to provide updates along her journey as Breast Cancer should not be taboo and awareness is needed! We hope you'll continue to follow as Danielle and I fight to beat this cancer once and for all!!

Thank you for reading and sharing.
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Josie Schultz 
Edmonds, WA