Noel Defeating Breast Cancer

Noel Elizabeth Ganis has breast cancer (invasive ductal carcinoma). We have surgery planned for mid-December. Now that all the bad stuff is out of the way, let me tell you about the rest of Noel's life.

Noel was born on October 21th, 1970 at Oakland Children's hospital. She was initially due around Christmas that year, but things worked out a little different than planned. She was 12 weeks early and spent the first few months of her life in an incubator. Another challenge she faced was that her tiny body wasn't circulating cerebral fluid properly and she developed a severe case of hydrocephalus.

Thanks to great doctors, doting parents & advances in medical technology, Children's hospital was able to install a shunt to relieve the pressure and give her a shot at a normal life. She owned that challenge and was determined to get through to the other side.

And she had a magnificent childhood! She grew up in the Oakland neighborhood of Glenview and went to Skyline High School. There she made great friendships with Shannon Monroe, Jan Cohen and Kara Tsuruta. Her dreams was to become a horse rider, and her parents Judy & Larry provided the means to embrace that in her childhood.

While she was in college at San Diego State University, she made lifelong friendships with Kelly Thomas and Mandy Mills. From there she finished up her Social Work degree at UC Davis in 1994. She then moved back to the Bay Area and worked in HR and staffing.

Her future husband (me) met Noel in 2000 in Las Vegas at a bachelor/bachelorette party for Mike & Amy Teeling. I had a very classy line of 'Hey, you keep in shape. Can I sit here?' and this turned into a relationship that turned into marriage. We now live in Portland with our two kids Lily and Dane.

Now we're a little on the back foot. Noel's cancer prognosis is good, because we kept yearly screenings, but the treatments are expensive. We are looking at short term expenses to the tune of $6,500, and more depending on the nature of ongoing oncology care. It's not like our regular living expenses have diminished, but we do the best we can. Our December and January are going to be challenging.

If you can help us we would very much appreciate it. If you're strapped, we understand. We have firsthand experience with this. Best wishes.

- Noel & Joe Ganis
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Joe Ganis 
Portland, OR
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