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Help Lisa Fight Metastatic Breast Cancer

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My name is Mackenzie Collis, and I am writing to share my mom's journey. Lisa Collis is a 47 year old deaf woman and a very proud single mom to me and my brother. She is also an incredible American Sign Language professor at Georgia State University. She initially beat ER+ PR+ HER2- breast cancer in 2011, but since a new heartbreaking diagnosis in 2020, my mom has been fighting the battle again against metastatic breast cancer in the bones, liver, and lungs.

My mom has fought so hard every day for the past three years and has shown more positivity and faith than anyone could imagine. But this past year has taken a heavy mental toll, and I can see how hard it is for her to be in this state. I want us to remind her that we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Right after COVID shut down schools, after her diagnosis, my mom began her doctors visits, scans, and treatments, all while taking care of me and my brother, as well as teaching virtually. Initially, she had kyphoplasty surgery on her T7 vertebrate, due to a fracure from the cancer weakening her bones, and was then treated with chemotherapy pills, and several rounds of radiation for her bone pain. Her scans over the months showed a positive stabilization of the spread and growth of the cancer.

In the past year, however, my mom's oncologist saw a spread in cancerous cells throughout her body, so her doctors gave the go-ahead to begin aggressive intravenous chemotherapy. Even during her treatments, she still supported her family and students, helping me move into college and watching my brother transition into high school. Last Christmas, my mom made the difficult decision to leave her teaching jobs and move away from her home and in with my grandma, taking the time to heal and let the chemotherapy work. While we have gratefully seen a decline in her tumor markers over the past few months, we have also seen a heavy decline in my mom's physical and mental state.

Because the chemotherapy is so rough on her body, my mother's muscles have been deteriorating and atrophying. She has lost over 50 pounds in the last five months from a lack of appetite, loss of muscle mass, and not being able to keep anything down. We are worried about continuing chemotherapy if her body continues to go in this direction, but the intravenous chemo is the only treatment that has successfully attacked the cancer. This back and forth has been physically and mentally draining on my family, but especially on my mom.

My grandma works during the day, and I can only commute from college so much during the week, so my mom is alone during the day, and she has already had a few scary falls while alone. She also is unable to drive in her state, so we are working to find an at-home physical therapist or rehabilitation therapist that can help her regain her strength. I also am hoping to find further at-home care, so she can focus wholly on getting stronger and spending quality moments with our family.

My mom has represented raw strength for my brother and I, and she continues to radiate that every day while being an incredible mother, teacher, and friend. She deserves all the support and love we can give her during these dark times.
Your donations will be going directly towards any medical costs, including medical bills and physical rehabilitation, as well as providing support during any financial burdens.

From myself, my mom, and the rest of our family, thank you for your contributions, thoughts, prayers, and love. I am forever grateful for our village of people.


Mackenzie Collis
Loganville, GA

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