Help Karyssa fight breast cancer

In 2015 my daughter Karyssa tested positive for BRCA1 gene. Her doctors told her to hold off on any surgery and start having six month check ups when she turns 25 years old. 

Now being 25, wanting a reduction, knowing she was BRCA1 positive, and knowing she would no longer be on her current insurance once she turns 26. Karyssa met with her doctors and decided it was best for her to have a double mastectomy with reduction reconstruction. 

Surgery took place July 9th 2018. Unfortunately lab reports came back with a tumor that wasn’t seen on her pre op MRI. Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, Triple Negative. The same exact aggressive cancer I, her mother, had. Devastating to anyone but especially a young woman trying to be proactive and her family. Even her doctors were shocked. 

Everyone was glad she listened to her gut and having the surgery turned out being the best decision. Who knows what would have happened if she waited six months or even a year. 

Karyssa was so bruised from the first surgery that her skin started to die and she had to have debridement surgery on July 23rd, her implants were replaced by tissue expanders. She was devastated because this added more time she couldn’t lift, care for, or cuddle with her 11 month old babe Nora. 

Once her drains from the second surgery were taken out she unfortunately had another set back. MRSA staph infection. So yet another surgery took place August 23rd to take out the expanders and clean the area. 

Karyssa thought she was healed and her port placement was scheduled for September 17th but by then it seemed the infection may have come back. She’s since been told she has cellulitis of the chest wall, MRSA could be back and is currently being treated by Infectious Disease. 

With all of these setbacks Karyssa has been out of work a lot longer than expected, her one surgery has turned into 3 and 3 more to come. Her husband Ian continues to work hard for their family but without Karyssa’s full income they’re needing help with monthly bills, groceries and the unexpected medical bills that just keep coming. Karyssa will have to pay for Cobra until the end of the year because it makes more sense financially even though it is very expensive. 

As of right now if she’s clear of infection she will start her 12 week chemotherapy treatment October 9th, 2018. This will mean she will be out of work a while longer and then have to worry about any reconstruction surgery such as getting expanders put back in and later implants. So much more recovery.

Karyssa and Ian are not the kind to ask for help but are there whenever they’re needed to lend a helping hand. My daughter has remained positive and refuses to be defeated by cancer. She is determined to beat this and be around to watch her own daughter grow. 

Any contribution towards these three wonderful humans having to go through the worst possible situation is so appreciated. Let's help Karyssa, Ian and Nora with the financial burden of this situation so they can focus on healing, recovering and saying: "F YOU, CANCER!"
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Organizer and beneficiary

Paula VandenEng 
Pulaski, WI
Karyssa Henry 
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