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Last December, when my family and I were suppose to be celebrating the holidays, we were delivered very unexpected news. My sister has Stage IV Breast Cancer. She showed no signs of being sick. It came out of nowhere!
My middle sister Lisa is 39 years old and is a single mother of 3 beautiful children, Keith (15), Kaela (10), and Kaitlyn (8). She has done everything for her children to make up for not having their dad in their lives. Her son, Keith attends a private catholic high school while the girls go to the local elementary school. Lisa goes to high school football and baseball games to watch her son play. She is the secretary of the bowling league her children participate in. As a family, they go on bowling trips to different parts of the country. Her daughter Kaela made the basketball team as a 5th grader and Kaitlyn will soon be a hip hop dance star. Lisa has had sleepovers with the girls' friend, doing hair, makeup, and nails.
Lisa was diagnosed with Stage IV Breast Cancer that spread to the lymph nodes in her neck. She started off taking Tamoxifin since her cancer is estrogen positive. We were relieved that she would not have to go through chemo right away. She went on FMLA and continued to work, but missed days for monthly treatments, tests, and doctor appointments. During that time, we also found out that she tested positive for the breast cancer gene. Now her children and siblings have a 50/50 chance of having the same gene.
The treatment was successful for 6 months, but then we learned that it was no longer working. As Lisa was having tests done to join a clinical study at Rush University Hospital, doctors found a brain tumor. It was small and operable and by the Grace of God, Lisa came through surgery and radiation like a trooper! She was off of work for 12 weeks and right before she was suppose to go back to work, found out that the cancer had spread yet again. She has 2 brain tumors which are too small to be operated on or have radiation to get rid of them. She will have to have an MRI every 6 weeks to monitor their growth. It also spread to her spine (upper back). Even though the new hormone therapy is working on the original tumors, doctors need to find a way to stop the cancer from spreading. We are going back to her doctor on Thursday to see what the plan of attack is.
Lisa is a fighter. She has so much more life to live and wants to see her children grow up. We have so many more family vacations to go on, bowling trips, football, baseball, and basketball games, and dance lessons to attend. Lisa is going to be at all of them.
Please send Love to Lisa by donating what you can. Lisa has been off of work for 4 months and our parents have been generously paying her bills. It has become difficult for them to pay for theirs and hers. The money raised will go for several things - paying her bills, high school tuition ($10,000), dance, bowling, and everyday expenses. Lisa does not want her children to miss out on anything or change their routine because of her cancer.
Thank you and much love,
Diana, Lisa, Keith, Kaela, and Kaitlyn
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