Just days before school was starting two years ago, Christi Groff, a mother of two young college girls and a special education teacher at Westwood High School, heard those words.
It was breast cancer.
But there was good news. The cancer was Stage 1, and she would only need a lumpectomy and aggressive radiation.
“I honestly never even felt like I had cancer,” she said. “It was discovered and treated so quickly, and I certainly never expected to have to deal with it again.”
Fast forward two years. Summer 2019. Doctors discovered an avocado-sized tumor on her ovary that was followed by a full hysterectomy. Subsequently, Christi went in for her routine mammogram and those three words come back to haunt her. Only this time, the news wasn’t as good. The cancer was more advanced and treatment would be much more serious. Christi started with a bi-lateral mastectomy with reconstruction.
But as always, Christi found the silver lining in the surgery. “On the positive side, reconstruction consisted of using my belly fat, so I ended up with a tummy tuck in the process,” she said.
A few weeks later, Christi headed back into surgery where doctors found cancer cells in her sentinel node. Now Christi and her family are in a waiting game to see what the pathology finds in those lymph nodes to see where they go from here, what stage the cancer is in, and what the next steps will be.
“God is teaching me to lean on Him and to allow myself to lean on others,” she said. “I am so blessed to have so many friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family rally around me and show me love. It’s never been something I’ve enjoyed, (being the center of attention) but God is showing me that when I allow others to help me, I am also helping them answer the call to whatever service He has put in their heart.”
Christi already has a long list of thank-yous for everyone who has supported them so far: the soccer coaches at Texas State who have looked after her eldest daughter, St. David’s surgical facility’s amazing staff, the amazing community of people who have helped their family in many ways … bringing meals, mowing the yard, cutting Christi’s hair or just visiting to keep her from going stir crazy.
But unfortunately, Christi’s journey with cancer isn’t over yet, and she still needs more support and help. While the Groffs have medical insurance, there are significant gaps in what is covered, and the out-of-pocket expenses are growing too high and too fast. Help us rally around the Groffs to provide them with relief of a financial burden so that all their energy and focus can be on Christi’s road to recovery and beating cancer.
“The timing of this, once again, seems horrific with school starting and the girls going off to college,” she said. “I just have to trust that God knows what he’s doing and His timing is always perfect. For whatever reason, He has chosen this season of my life to allow these struggles. I’m excited to see how He uses it to grow me.”
Thank you for your willingness to support this great family who have dedicated their lives to serving others. All donations go directly to the Groff family and not through any third party.