A P.O. box has been set up for the Egli family. We would love people to send letters and cards of support and encouragement for Rachel and Curt, but most importantly for the two young boys, Daniel and Jesse.
PO box 5264
This is Amanda and I am writing to companies, organizations, and individuals who would consider monetary or gift donations for my younger sister, Rachel Egli, who was recently diagnosed with incurable cancer. The financial and emotional stress of dealing with her diagnosis have been a lot for this family, and I hope you are able to help them to enjoy the remaining time they have left as a family.
Rachel is a lovable, generous, kind young woman. She is a 25-year old military spouse, married to Curtis Egli, and mother to Daniel (6) and Jesse (3). Despite being so young, Rachel was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer - thymic neuroendocrine carcinoma - at the end of 2014, which was met with surgical interventions, as well as months of proton and chemotherapy. Recent scans reveal her cancer has spread into the lining of her lungs and is, therefore, incurable. She has since started new rounds of chemotherapy to see if its growth can be managed or slowed, but ultimately, she has been given a death sentence: 1-4 years of life left. We are seeking donations to ensure her and her little family can create good, positive memories before her death, and to help in any way possible with making their life easier and more enjoyable.Daniel (6) and Jesse (3)
After suffering for months with unexplained pains and shortness of breath, followed by multiple doctor and hospital visits with no results, Rachel’s cancer was discovered by after having unbearable stomach pain. When Curt took her to the emergency room, it was discovered she had a hernia and a strangulated bowel, which would require surgery immediately. The pre-surgery scans revealed a blur near her heart, causing concern among the doctors. She was sent for further scans, where the tumor was discovered. At the time, the Egli family were stationed with the U.S. Army in Alaska. The local military hospital did not have the required facilities, so she was flown to Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, WA for a biopsy a few weeks later. The biopsy came back ‘inconclusive.’ In other words, once again there were no definitive results. There were discussions about whether or not further interventions would be necessary, and luckily the conclusion was to perform surgery to remove it because of the physical symptoms she was having regarding it.
Happier times: Rachel and Daniel in 2011
Six weeks after the discovery, in early December, Rachel and Curt went back to Madigan for what was presumed to be a preventive operation. Talking to Rachel before her surgery, we joked and chatted and she said she would call me when she woke up. I didn’t hear from her for days. What was a preventive surgery, turned into a much bigger deal. Once her chest was opened, the true nature of the cancer revealed itself: in the 6 weeks between the scan and the surgery, the tumor had grown and spread into her heart sac, lungs, throat, and aortic valve, also wrapping around veins and arteries. Upon removing as much as they could, a hole was ripped in one of her arteries, causing her to need a blood transfusion. Titanium wire was used to hold her sternum together and she was closed up. After waiting for her to call and discovering her phone was still off, I began to worry. I waited until the next day, thinking she was still recovering, which is why her phone was off. I found out later she was in serious trouble from the surgery and was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit for the next week, where she was unable to breathe on her
own, requiring 24 hour oxygen for several days. On two occasions during her stay in ICU, she had to be revived. After breathing well enough on her own, she was transferred for another week’s stay in a regular ward, followed by two weeks in a rehabilitation facility. During the first few days Curt had to return to Alaska. Rachel would not spend Christmas with her two young boys, who were back in Alaska with Curt and his mother.
While Rachel was recovering at the rehabilitation center and adjusting to the immobility of chest surgery, Curt packed up as much as he could for her and the boys in his truck, as well as their two pet dogs, and drove all the way down to Seattle. They did not realize when they went to Seattle, that Rachel would never be going back to Alaska. They also did not realize the journey ahead would be much harder than they could have imagined. Curt stayed in Seattle with the family for as long as he could, living in a hotel for two weeks, until they moved into the biggest apartment they could afford to pay for out of their own pocket: a small, two-bedroom apartment on the third floor with no air-conditioning and no elevator. This is where she would live for the next several months.
Knowing Curt had to return to Alaska due to work reasons, Curt's Step-father flew from Illinois to help Rachel with the kids. Rachel had to travel into Seattle everyday for Proton therapy and every three weeks for chemotherapy. After a few weeks Curt's step-father had to return home, leaving Rachel with her two young boys and two dogs. After finding a babysitter, Rachel then proceeded to go to treatments alone and then come home to take care of her children and dogs.
It took months before the Army approved Curt's compassionate reassignment to Seattle during which he wasn't allowed to leave Alaska. By the time he was approved and their house in Alaska was packed up, Rachel had completely finished her treatments. Upon returning to Seattle they found a house to rent and their oldest child is now in kindergarten. Things were finally getting better until Rachel's follow up scan, revealing her cancer had spread.
With your help, Rachel and Curt plan to make as many special memories with their boys as possible including traveling to visit family in the U.S and Australia.
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