Help Kathrine Fight Cancer

Our best friend, Kathrine, a friend anyone would be lucky to have, recently discovered that she has nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

For those of you who don't know Kathrine; she is an animal lover, the type of person who can make anyone feel comfortable and like they are at home, and who can bring a smile and laughter to anyone she comes into contact with.

Kathrine had been feeling sick for a few months before she found out the bad news. In the fall of 2014, Kathrine felt like she had a cold and the flu for the entire season. Whenever one cold ended, it seemed like a new one began.  She noticed raised bumps on her arms and guessed they might be spider bites; a completely unrelated coincidence. As winter began, she started noticing feelings of extreme exhaustion, dizzy spells, and intense nausea. During the last two months of her off-, or really on-and-on sickness, she noticed that both of her lymph nodes started to swell much larger than a normal cold might cause them to. Her left lymph node had swollen to the size of a golf ball. Her continuous symptoms began to interfere with her personal and work life. After being sent home from work a few times, she felt it was necessary to see a doctor. She went in to get a few blood tests done thinking that she might find out she had mono or the flu, but the doctor suggested that she needed to get an ultrasound done as lymphoma or a cancerous tumor were in the serious realm of possibility. Kathrine committed to a series of medical testing. Following multiple ultrasounds, several consultations with an ear, nose, and throat specialist, a CT Scan, and finally, a needle biopsy, Kathrine and we (her friends) learned that she had been diagnosed with cancer on January 26th, 2015.

We were and still are so incredibly devastated to know that our best friend had been diagnosed with the C-word. It’s hard to say aloud when it is affecting someone close to you and whom you care about.

After further medical testing, the doctors confirmed with high certainty that Kathrine had stage four nasopharyngeal carcinoma. A large malignant tumor had metastasized to her left lymph node.

We are so hopeful and truly convinced that Kathrine is going to beat her diagnosis, but we ask for your thoughts, prayers, and support in her fight. She is going to need us through this uphill battle.

Just last Monday, March 2nd, 2015, Kathrine was hospitalized so that she could have a feeding tube inserted. A major concern the doctor’s have is that Kathrine’s cancer and the treatment she has to undergo will cause such terrible pain in her throat that eating and even drinking water may seem impossible. Following all the testing and the overwhelming emotions around her cancer, Kathrine’s physical fight truly began this past Monday. The pain and suffering has already begun. She feels painful bloating and soreness where the feeding tube was inserted. She feels overwhelming nausea to where she needs to carry a bag or bucket everywhere as she never knows when sickness may strike. The pain pills she has to take only make her more nauseous, give her hot flashes, and make her feel dizzy and confused at times.

The following day, March 3rd, 2015, Kathrine had her first round of radiation treatment. There will be about 40 to go. On Wednesday, she underwent her first six-hour session of chemotherapy.  The doctors have an aggressive plan to help Kathrine fight her cancer.  She will have radiation treatment every single day, Monday through Friday. Many of those days will include chemotherapy treatments as well. She is going to undergo this rigorous treatment for seven weeks, with a major surgery being the last resort at the end of this journey. In addition to the seven weeks of treatment, the doctors say that there will be a very hard recovery period of a month or so following her treatment.

If all goes as planned, Kathrine’s cancer will go into remission following this intense treatment, but her fight will be life long with follow-up testing and rechecking for years and years to come.

Right now, Kathrine needs our love and support to maintain her strength during treatment. We are hoping to help ease her huge financial burden through this process. Kathrine had just started going back to school, working toward her bachelor’s degree, but she won’t have the energy, strength, or income to support this goal during her treatment. As well as putting her education on hold, she won’t be able to go to work while undergoing her rigorous medical care and possibly for a couple months to follow. Besides the usual cell phone bill, car payment, and the standard day-to-day cost of living, Kathrine is already feeling the burden of her medical bills. Although she does have health insurance, she is already paying hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket just from all the testing she had to have done before her diagnosis and the personal costs will continue to grow during her treatment. We are hoping to help take away some of Kathrine’s financial strain so that she can focus solely on getting better and back to the person we know, love, and need.

Please donate to #KathrinesFight against cancer.

Every dollar counts! Thank you!

-Erica & Jessica

If you want to learn more about nasopharyngeal carcinoma and its side effects, please check out the links below:

General Information About Nasopharyngeal Cancer - National Cancer Institute 

Nasopharyngeal Cancer Side Effects - Cancer Research UK 


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Organizer and beneficiary

Erica Rohde 
Sterling, VA
Kathrine Germani 
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