Our beloved Cindy McKenzie, Quality Assurance Reviewer with The Center for Child and Family Studies, has been fighting her opponent, Gastric Cancer, since April 5, 2013, the date she was diagnosed with Stage III Gastric Cancer. Family, friends, and co-workers have been sitting in the stands cheering Cindy on as she makes milestones to knock out Gastric Cancer. We have felt and even fallen at every hit she has taken from this disgusting disease often wondering what makes this disease so strong.
Cindy was diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma, Gastric Cancer. According to Cindy’s oncologist and specialists at MUSC, this form of cancer is a very aggressive disease that is normally diagnosed in Caucasian men over the age of 60. Cindy McKenzie, a 42 year old African American Woman, (age at the time she was diagnosed) definitely does not fit the profile for this cancer. Specialists and her oncologist informed Cindy that she has a “very, very bad disease”. Cindy was sentenced to “death row”. The doctors have told Cindy the cancer was going to defeat her as it did with other opponents.
Cindy heard what was shared, looked at the nurses, oncologist and specialists squarely in their faces and told them about her GOD and his healing power. Within a year, our courageous, resilient Cindy, has had 3 rounds of chemotherapy, 7 weeks of radiation, 2 blood transfusions, 5 hospital admissions to include 2 surgeries, 80% of her stomach removed, a portion of her small intestine removed, 29 lymph nodes removed, and her gallbladder removed. Cindy has been given a very aggressive chemotherapy which has caused irreversible nerve damage. At times, she is unable to use her hands for extended periods of time. She is in constant pain and spends a great deal of the time in and out of the restroom vomiting. Also, during this same year her only sister was diagnosed with Stage II Breast Cancer. But GOD.
Through the battle of life and death, Cindy has continued to be a mother to her three children, ages 23, 19, and 10; a wife to her doting husband of 21 years; and supportive of her sister whom has joined the fight. Cindy smiles and laughs through the pain. She continues to be a breath of fresh air and a source of light to all persons her path crosses. She continues to put on her fighting gloves every morning because she wants to LIVE. She wants to live for her children, her husband, her family, and even USC. Yes, Cindy longs for the day she can come back to USC full-time. She loves everyone at USC.
On June 13, 2014, Cindy was diagnosed with Stage IV Gastric Cancer and was told her cancer had spread to other organs. On July 14, 2014, Cindy began her fourth round of chemotherapy.
On behalf of Cindy, her husband Chris and their children Brittany, Cortni, and CJ, we are soliciting the Gamecock Family’s help to assist the family with medical expenses and to help pay for a home health aide who will help the family with daily activities such as laundry, cooking, cleaning, transporting, etc. Please note, any dollar amount donated will count.
A GOFUNDME account has been created in Cindy’s name to make donations.
For persons who are not able to make a monetary donation or for persons who just want to do more, Cindy is asking for prayers for strength and healing. Thank you for taking the time to read this excerpt, donate, and to pray for Cindy McKenzie and her family.
Natrisha Starr, Stephanie Payne, and Taneene Walker
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