My friend Cheryl Duxbury  was diagnosed with Stage III Invasive Ductal Carcinoma, HER2+, in February.  I know all too well how challenging it is for a family to face cancer. 

Hi, my name is Starla and I am a spouse of a cancer surviver. I know what it is like to watch your loved one suffering, wishing you could take the pain away and help make them whole again. I know what it feels like to see the hurt and fear in your children's eyes when they see their parent so sick and the possibility that they might never be able to play with them again. Finding the time to be everywhere you need to be, trying to give time to everyone that needs you, meeting all of your family's physical and personal needs and still holding on to "you", can be so overwhelming all on its own, that finding the time to come up with the funds needed to survive can seem almost daunting.   When I met Cheryl I was impressed by her determination and fight. She kept working to help support her family and to get needed funds for treatments until she was put on complete bedrest.  Cheryl is an amazing mother of three beautiful young children, wife and a very hard worker who could use some help this holiday season. After trying her best for as long as she could, she is now reaching out to others for help. This is her story.

I am SO very grateful for my friend Starla’s kind and generous offer to set up this GoFundMe page for me!! I resisted it for quite some time for several reasons, but as time went on...and after breaking down my fears regarding my hesitation...and after a lot of prayer, I felt VERY impressed that I need to let Starla help me in this way. And through this GoFundMe page, that I also need to let others help me...and that this is part of what will make my full healing possible. I am a pretty reserved person. In fact, there are many dear friends and loved ones who I still haven’t even told about the cancer diagnosis. But I feel very impressed that I need to share my story directly, so here is my story…

No one ever wants to hear those words…, “You have cancer.” I felt that they must have mixed up the biopsy results with someone else’s. But once the shock wore off, I knew there was no mistake...

On February 8, 2018, I was diagnosed with Stage II Invasive Ductal Carcinoma. Later lab results showed it was HER2+, the most aggressive form of breast cancer.

When I met with the surgeon and the oncologist, they both declared it to be Stage III Invasive Ductal Carcinoma instead, based on the large size of the tumor and because it was in one or more lymph nodes.

The surgeon advised she could not even do surgery with how large the tumor was and how close to the skin’s surface it was. The oncologist wanted me to start on four different hard chore chemo drugs as soon as possible to be administered over a year’s time. After doing a ton of research, and after a lot of prayer, fasting, and beautiful priesthood blessings, the correct path for me has been very clear. Not all at once, but my next steps...one day at a time.

While this was such a raw reality to face, I just KNEW that good would come through this...and that I would be able to get through this with the Lord’s help, the help of family and loved ones, and that I would be able to learn what I need to do to heal by taking things one.day.at.a.time.
12040673_1542768633599276_r.jpeg( June 2018 - Fun family hike in Payson...a mini getaway at Kirk’s dad and stepmom’s place. While there, I went on a walk by myself in beautiful nature and poured my heart out to Heavenly Father in prayer and took the time to listen to Him. This was a beautiful moment I’ll never forget that helped me to receive personal peace, comfort, and reassurance that I will heal.)

With all that I have researched and learned, I have made very extensive positive lifestyle changes this year in all areas of my life. I have a whole lot to learn still, but I have made a lot of progress. It has been quite challenging though and I have also had some very low points...

On September 3, 2018, I was experiencing unusual, very concerning symptoms and was taken by ambulance to the ER to find out what was going on. It turns out, my sodium levels got critically low...explaining the concerning symptoms I was experiencing. I was in the hospital for a couple of days while they brought my sodium levels up and did more testing to check out other concerns.
12040673_1542768820221813_r.jpeg( My wake-up call! This was a very rough couple of days, followed by a long and ongoing recovery...but SO much good came from this!)

This wake-up call was my turning point! 
I have made more adjustments in my healing journey with improving nutrition even more, increasing quantity of food, drinking the correct amount of water, and re-evaluating how I was using my energy. I learned that I wouldn’t be able to continue working the part-time temp job that I had been doing, and realized that I would need even more help from Kirk and our kids, and that I also needed to ask our ward from church for some occasional help with meals and a bit of help around the house...all in order to save energy for my body to heal.

Also, I discovered how much of my life I was living out of fear. I am learning to let go of the past, stop worrying about the future, and learning to be way more in the present and live life out of gratitude and love! What a difference this is making!

Good news is that the CT scan from my stay in the hospital showed that the cancer had not spread to any other areas! What a blessing!! After this experience in my life, I have become way more intentional, specific, and committed to my whole healing process! Thankfully, the tumor has not continued to get larger throughout this year. However, it has not reduced in size yet. So I am not there yet, but I am coming along.

More testing shortly after the hospital revealed how off all my levels were and that I need to be on bedrest as much as possible to gain more energy and save energy for healing. Since then, further testing showed an improvement in some areas but revealed that I was completely over-exerting myself and that I needed to be on absolute bedrest. During this time, my husband Kirk has been very much needed to take care of me and also our children.

My most recent testing showed an improvement in some areas and that the decline in my health has slowed way down compared to the previous test, which is wonderful news! So I am not building health yet and still need to be on bedrest for now, but thankfully I am starting to improve.

I have researched a lot and have learned so much this year! Chronic stress and not managing it well, unhealed emotional traumas, lack of proper nutrition, lack of sleep, toxins, living in fear, not forgiving others and/or yourself, etc. can definitely lead to physical health issues and disease. I don’t pretend to know all the answers and know everyone is different and has their own unique journey. I also know that it may not always be Heavenly Father’s will for people to heal if He calls them back home and they are needed on the other side of the veil. And I know sometimes people are affected by genetics and other factors. But I’ve learned that healing can be possible no matter what odds we are given...if it is Heavenly Father’s will...especially when we make very extensive positive lifestyle changes in all areas of our lives!12040673_1542769238998183_r.jpeg(This is an older photo, but one of my favorite photos of my husband Kirk and me! We have been through some tough challenges throughout our marriage, but with the loving help of our Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ, we are getting through them together and are becoming stronger! Kirk has been such a loving help, support, and strength to me throughout my healing journey, and I am beyond grateful to have him by my side!!)

Kirk graduated from chiropractic school and has been on a journey finding the right path. Just prior to my hospitalization, Kirk was getting very clear and making a lot of progress towards his goals of launching his own chiropractic practice and had just officially got licensed to be a chiropractor. However, as so much of his time and energy has gone into taking care of the kids and me, he has not been able to continue moving forward at the same rate and has only been able to work one project for his temporary work.

The last couple years have been very challenging in many ways, but the Lord sometimes works in mysterious ways and things are falling into place. Just recently, Kirk discovered that the Lord has a different path in mind for him. Kirk is now planning to start a chiropractic house calls practice where he will see patients in their homes instead of starting a brick and mortar practice. He is SO at peace with this and really excited about moving forward with this plan!!
12040673_1542769525833907_r.jpeg(Kirk and our sweet kiddos from a fun day at the Arizona Science Center...thanks to a friend for gifting them with passes.)

With all the help I have been needing, Kirk hasn't been able to work, but he hopes to start his chiropractic house calls practice as soon as possible. Kirk being able to start a chiropractic house calls practice will be SUCH a blessing for our family, as it will allow him flexibility in his schedule...so he can have more availability to help take care of me and our kids and continue to help me in my healing journey, while still being able to practice chiropractic and do what he was called to do to bless others’ lives! While he will not have the huge overhead expenses of a brick and mortar practice, he will still need some equipment and programs to start his chiropractic house calls practice.

With these financial and health challenges in mind, there are many resources we are in need of for my healing journey and for other family needs. While I know I am getting close to the stage of building health, I am not there yet and need to step up as soon as possible. There are many more resources, tools, treatments, and therapies I have been impressed to do to help my body to become strong and fully heal...but simply don’t have the means to do so now.

I have been so prayerful for each step along the way and have grown in so many ways throughout this year! Although fear creeps up at times, I am choosing to have faith and am so at peace in my healing journey and just know that things will keep falling into place...and that through your help of donating and sharing, I will be blessed with all the resources needed for me to heal and overcome this!
(My beautiful family means the WORLD to me! Thank you to Jed Davis for taking these beautiful photos for us as a service!  www.jeddavisphoto.com )

Beautiful priesthood blessings have reassured me that I am on the right path for me and that I will get through this and become healthier and stronger than before. My family and my life mean everything to me  and I am choosing to heal and really want to make a difference and help others along the way! I am BEYOND grateful for ALL the people and resources that have helped me, and that will help me, in my healing journey!! It has been amazing coming to know my body’s owner manual and learning how to receive very specific personal revelation from God...for everything...like which specific supplements I need and how many and when...and even for things like what the goal should be for this GoFundMe page.
12040673_1542769937469953_r.jpeg(These sweet, amazing kids of ours inspire us and have been such a loving support and strength to us with their unwavering faith, as they tell me they just KNOW I will heal and pray for my healing every.single.day.)

These funds will go to all the resources, tools, therapies, and treatments I need along the way to help me throughout my healing journey. Organic vegetables and fruits, specific high quality supplements and herbs, healthy cookware and kitchen tools, essential oils, a water filtration system, healing sessions, Vibetality yoga classes, treatments and IV therapies, etc. that insurance does not cover. These funds will also go to other family needs and may go towards some of the resources needed for Kirk to get the equipment and programs needed to start his chiropractic house calls practice. Having the resources I need throughout my healing journey and for other family needs during this challenging time means the WORLD to me and will help our family tremendously!!

So I, along with my family, deeply and sincerely thank you for whatever way you can help!! Big or small contributions...every bit will help...or by sharing this...or by choosing to forgive and spreading more kindness and love to everyone around you! To help me get the word out, please share the link on your Facebook timeline, other social media, or through text or email.

Thank you SO much for considering donating and for your love, support, help and prayers!!

With all our love,

Cheryl Duxbury and family

12040673_1542770186943528_r.jpeg(Cheryl Duxbury, along with her husband Kirk, and their children). 



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Fundraising team: Starla, Cheryl and Kirk (3)

Starla Allen 
Raised $2,100 from 2 donations
Mesa, AZ
Cheryl Duxbury 
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