But when your best friend of almost 20 years asks you to sit down, and tells you she’s been diagnosed with HER 2+ Invasive Ductal Carcinoma…you stare. You cry. You worry. You think of all the amazing things your best friend is and does and what she means to everyone who loves her and you question everything about how unfair the world is. Then, you take a deep breath and you ask, “How can I support you?” And when you ALREADY know she is going to tell you she’s got this, because she’s one of the most resilient and brave people around, you insist.
My best friend is Katie Reed- and if you are lucky enough to know her, you know why my heart swells to call her my bestie. Proud mom to three amazing kids (Abbie- age 22, Amber- age 20, and sweet little Ashten- age 3 and Grandma to precious Elaine- age 2), Katie has built her strong family from the ground up. She lights up a room with her sense of humor and she lends support to her family, her extended family, her coworkers and her friends. She has worked tirelessly to balance her job and the demands of motherhood, and what a fine job she’s done.
A lifetime resident of Saint Lucie County, Katie has strong ties to the community. Whether it’s being involved in her children’s school activities, supporting others around her, or spending time with her regulars at Berry Fresh Café, where she’s worked the last eight years, Katie knows how to “be there” for everyone who needs her…almost to a fault. I used to worry that she never did anything for herself, and when she enrolled in the Nursing Program at Keiser University last May, I was beaming with pride to see her taking strides to achieve a lifetime goal that waited quietly all these years until she had the means to jump in with two feet.
And, if you know Katie, you know she has no plans to let cancer stop her from anything- not nursing, not working, and certainly not being here to see her children continue to grow and thrive.
Katie has already begun chemo therapy and will face surgery and radiation in the near future. Although she is continuing to work as much as she can. she has a long road ahead. As a single parent without adequate health insurance, she is also facing a very tough situation. I want so badly to do whatever I can to help her, which means being there to support her in every way a friend can.
We all know money isn’t what will cure Katie, but giving her access to the best care and taking some of the financial worry away is one of the best blessings I can think of to help make life easier for her while she wages this battle.
Please- no amount is too small to make a difference. Help me help my amazing, strong, brave friend Katie Kick Cancer’s Ass!!!
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