Trish's Battle Against Cancer

This is Trish.

She is a mom to two kids- a grown daughter and a son who is a freshman at Penn State. She is a wife. She is a daughter, and she is a fierce and loyal friend. She works her butt off every day at a job she loves: she's a server at Eat-n-Park near her home in Washington County. She is a treasured member of her spiritual community and a fantastic baker and cook. And we love her. A lot.

Trish has cancer.

It started as stage 2b cervical cancer, diagnosed in May of 2013. She spent the spring and summer of 2013 enduring a grueling and rigorous round of chemotherapy and both external and internal radiation. She continued to work at Eat-n-Park through the first month of treatments, and then took a medical leave for 3 months.after which she was exhausted but hopeful that the cancer would be gone. Sadly, this was not the case. The tumor has shrunk, but the cancer is still present, and is now classified as "persistent." Because her initial treatments were so aggressive, she has reached the lifetime maximum for radiation to the pelvised, and her options for treatment are now very limited. Unfortunately, a 5cm mass has also developed on her ovary, causing a great deal of pain. The only course of treatment available to her is a radical hysterectomy and removal of part of the colon, which is scheduled for January. This is considered a last resort, due to the previous exposure to radiation therapy. Tissue exposed to radiation does not heal well and causes adhesions- the organs sort of stick to each other and don't function well- so there is a strong possibility that she will also lose her bladder, colon and rectum. She won't know how much had to be taken out until she wakes up after surgery, and then will be facing more chemotherapy in the following months.

She's still working as much as she can through the holidays, serving her guests at Eat-n-Park with an unfailing smile and positive outlook. But, she will be unable to work during this ordeal, and she's facing many months of recovery, which she desperately needs to allow her body to heal after her surgery. She has already exhausted her available medical leave, which means she won't have an income, and could also possibly lose her health insurance if she is unable to return to work in time. She is not only facing the most challenging health crisis of her life, but also nearly certain financial ruin as well. Please help us help her, and donate what you can- every litte bit helps. She is, for the record, absolutely mortified to even ask for help, but this is a woman who gives so much to her family, her friends, her community and coworkers- everyone in her life, every day. It's time for her to take care of herself, and let us help her get through this terrible hardship.

Please help this wonderful woman, this mother and dear friend, at the most difficult time of her life.

This was written for me by a very dear friend to whom I am forever grateful.


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Trish Atkison 
Lawrence, PA
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