This is my best friend Traci and her mom Lynette. Traci is in need of a lung transplant due to cystic fibrosis and her mom is battling pancreatic cancer. This is their story....
Traci came into my life 3 years ago and we immediately became amazing friends. She is smart, funny, caring, beautiful, and the strongest, bravest girl I know. She also has Cystic Fibrosis. When we are together we normally laugh until we are practically crying. Traci has one of the best laughs you could imagine, but sadly it usually is followed by coughing.
Traci graduated our high school with honors, and is now excelling at our local college. She loves riding and jumping her pony, Kirby, every chance she gets. In between classes she works at a veterinary office caring for other people's loved pets. Traci is just one of those people that everyone loves and she loves every person and creature back just as much.
In the 3 years I have known Traci I had never seen her extremely sick. The daily breathing treatments were the main reminder that my funny, lively best friend had cystic fibrosis. That is until recently. Lately she has been in and out of the hospital multiple times struggling to stay well. I confess that it terrified and saddened me to see my once lively, giggling friend on oxygen still struggling to breathe. At this moment Traci has to remain in a hospital 2 hours away because they are better able to treat her. Because her lung function has taken such a drastic downturn she has now been placed on the lung transplant list because a healthy set of lungs is what the doctor has ordered. So this is where her story is now...
The thing is that Traci's story and struggle is not just her own. Before Traci's health began to worsen, and at the same time we were enjoying the last months of our high school senior year, her mom, Lynette, had begun her own health battle. You see, her mom is bravely battling pancreatic cancer. This time last year her mom was receiving chemo. She responded well and her numbers looked good, her hair grew back, and life continued on. Now this year, just at the same time Traci was getting sick Lynette received news that her numbers were back on the rise. So now Lynette is on a new clinical trial of meds to combat those numbers once again. As she is battling her own illness she is also trying to be strong for her daughter. Lynette is an elementary school teacher. She loves her job, loves her students, and has continued to work and give herself to our community's children because she finds such joy in doing so. She still continues to work even though her heart wants her to be by her daughter's side every moment she can. If that isn't hard enough, Lynette has used all of her sick time and vacation days so she has to continue to work because the insurance that provides the treatment for both of them is of upmost importance. Her retirement will now have to wait. I sometimes think her mom must be superwoman to be able to handle all of this at one time. She is simply amazing and a true inspiration!
So, this is why I have created this page. I want to raise money to help my best friend, her mom, and their family get through what is an unimaginable time in their lives. There are the medical bills, the travel expenses, the prescriptions, the lost wages, and I'm sure a million other expenses. So please help me help them. Can you imagine being in their shoes? I can't. But if I was I can only hope I could handle it with the grace and faith they do. They are truely a deserving, amazing family! I look forward to the day that my best friend and I have one of our laugh until we cry sessions and she gets to experience it without coughing afterwards. It's going to be great!
- Walter Hettel
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- Francis Cuomo
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