I first met Kathleen in the early 1990’s and we quickly became very good friends. She is the type of person that you, even when you hadn’t spoken to her for months or weeks because of your own busy life, could pick right back up and it would be like you’d never skipped a beat. Anyone that knows her knows that her smile and laugh are infectious. These last few months she is barely able to leave her home and do any of the things she enjoys such as singing in the church choir or karaoke with her friends. She is totally dependent on her mother who has not left her side.
In July of 2010 Kathleen received devastating news when she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ductal Carcinoma. She underwent three surgeries and a full course of chemo and radiation. Kathleen received news in April of 2011 that she was in remission! She thanked The Lord that she was given the chance to continue her life after a hard-fought battle against an awful disease. I encouraged her to take the chance that she had been given and to take some time for herself…checking some things off of her “bucket list.” Kathleen had always wanted to travel to Europe and we decided to plan the trip of a lifetime. In November 2013, we took the leap and went to visit several cities in France and Italy including Paris and Venice. In August 2015, Kathleen was devastated yet again when she learned that the cancer had returned. She was diagnosed with advanced Stage 4 Breast Cancer and it has spread to her bones, lymph nodes, liver and outside lung tissue.
Kathleen prepared to go to battle with the cancer again and has been undergoing chemo treatments since the second diagnosis. She recently traveled to Chicago for specialized treatments and the treatment was so difficult that it almost ended her life. The treatments have left her extremely weak and she has lost one-third of her body weight. Kathleen started this life journey at 155 pounds and weighs just over 100 pounds now. Everything you and I take for granted…waking up in the morning, standing, eating, breathing, and even talking are a struggle for her every day. Kathleen requires that she is hooked up to an oxygen supply just to do any of these things. Despite this immense uphill battle with which she is faced, Kathleen’s inner and outer beauty continue to shine and she faces every day with an optimism that makes me wonder if I could ever come close to enduring what she goes through every day. Kathleen has been working closely with her doctors and her oncology specialist who all remain optimistic that the cancer can be minimized with chemo therapy for another five to six months.
So why the GoFundMe page you might ask? Kathleen’s EXTREMELY compassionate employer has continued to pay for her medical insurance costs for the past two years that she has been battling the cancer. However, due to insurance regulations, her employer is being forced to terminate her healthcare coverage at the end of June. Kathleen is completely unable to work and has very minimal money coming in to pay for living expenses let alone her medical expenses.
Kathleen tries to stay positive and prays every day for God to help her beat the cancer again. As Kathleen continues to fight for her life, I am asking that her family, friends, the local community and even those of you that have never met this beautiful soul continue to pray for her. Kathleen believes that a combination of continued prayers and the most powerful of scientific medicine will give her the strength to push through this last time. Kathleen and her family would love to be able to handle this on their own, but the fact is that they cannot. She has already had such a great outpouring of emotional support from many loved ones and I plead with you to help this financial funding campaign if you are able to do so. Any amount that you can spare will help Kathleen to afford the medical treatments that she needs to survive as well as her living expenses.
Thank you for reading, participating, and for your continued prayers and support for Kathleen.
- Gary & Deb Blankenship
- Anne Maas
- Andrea Kurek Niedzwicki
- Maria Guerin-Davidson
- Sheila McCoy
Organizer and beneficiary
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