One of the first times I met Anne Sheridan Kennedy, I learned of her nickname as Mrs. Murphy—a name derived from Murphy’s law, stating, “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” She mentioned it casually to me one day with a full, genuine laugh, one that I would soon come to learn is delivered often, and always with the same candor. Anne is a proud mother of two and married the love of her life, Robert Beerman, last year.
Mrs. Murphy’s name began as a joke many years ago, but recently, it’s become a medical fact: a rare heart condition required emergency surgery in 2013 and involved multiple complications; her gall bladder removal required another emergency surgery last year (2015); and in February (2016), she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.
Soon after her Cancer diagnosis, the finer details of her misfortunes stopped surprising me. Complications after the double mastectomy required a second surgery. A post-op infection required IV antibiotics daily. She’s had multiple allergic reactions to medications, several ER visits and unexplained physical difficulties, all with the common theme: “This has never happened before!”
A few months ago, I moved into a condo with both her sons. Even though she had just finished her second round of chemo, Anne called after the move and gave us a hard time for not asking her for help. That was when I realized something about “Mrs. Murphy”.
Mrs. Murphy is all things negative, weak, and defeated, but Anne is not. Anne makes jokes about her hair loss and shares inspirational Facebook memes. She DIY-ed her entire wedding last year and did her own home improvement projects before she fell ill. And no matter now much pain she is in these days, she will still put on makeup and get up to hug us when we visit. Anne is positive and strong, and she has bravely faced this temporary roadblock head-on.
In May of 2017, Anne hopes to be finished with chemo, radiation and reconstructive surgery, and she’ll continue playing an important part of our lives. Until then, her devoted husband Robert will be caring for her and working whenever he can as the sole provider for their household. Although his work does not have paid leave for this kind of hardship, Robert has been there for Anne during all her chemo treatments and doctor appointments.
As most of you know, cancer is expensive, and they can’t handle that burden alone (especially after her previous illnesses, which they are still receiving bills for). All donations will assist with medical bills for all her surgeries, while Anne and Robert continue to fight this battle together. There are no donations too small—all help is greatly appreciated.