At 27 years old, Alyssa Rocha was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive Triple Negative Breast Cancer on 4/20/2017. Ten days after her cancer diagnosis, she underwent an emergent double mastectomy to remove the tumor and to prevent the cancer from spreading or recurring in the other breast. It has been a month since Alyssa's surgery and she is now facing 4 months of aggressive chemotherapy to rid her body of any cancer cells that have spread. We have also learned that the chemotherapy regimen Alyssa must undergo has a strong possibility of rendering her ovaries infertile; making our chances of creating a family questionable. The BRCA1+ genetic predisposition for cancer comes with the following:
· 80% chance of getting breast cancer before age 40
· 50% chance of having ovarian cancer by age 45
· New evidence is showing a strong link for uterine cancer
Alyssa will need PET scans and medical appointments every 6 months at least until age 50 to confirm that the cancer has not returned. Alyssa will also require a complete hysterectomy and oophorectomy by age 35.
Cancer has chosen to confront Alyssa and me(her husband, Travis) at a difficult time in our lives. Alyssa is currently preparing to apply to nursing schools and I have just entered a career change and started a residency program at a hospital in Denver. The chemotherapy Alyssa will be receiving is heavy duty and Alyssa won't be able to work during this time. Finances are extremely tight right now and without Alyssa being able to work, we are unable to make ends meet. We have thought long and hard about asking for help and have determined that we need to reach out to others. It is not easy to be vulnerable and let people in while going through such difficult times. We never imagined being in this complicated situation, but here we are....fighting this cancer diagnosis with any and all means necessary.
We are asking for help to pay for medical bills throughout this journey as well as living expenses while Alyssa is unable to work.
Thank you for reading our story.
- Harry Gurnee
- Corina Caletti
- Kazu Ishidera
- Marisol Zamora
- Linda Nakagawa
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