Several years ago Rachel and her husband Steve decided to start a family. When they found out that Rachel was pregnant, they were ecstatic. Everything seemed to going normally for the first few months of her pregnancy. Then during routine tests they found out the baby would be born with Downs Syndrome. Although this was a shock, they tried to prepare as best they could for the arrival of their baby girl Cecilia. Only one week after we celebrated Rachel’s baby shower baby Cecilia lost her fight and passed away. Because Rachel was already in her 8th month, she still had to go through an induced delivery. Though surrounded by family, this was extremely difficult.
The next year, they tried again. This time Rachel had a miscarriage in the first trimester. After the heartache of losing two babies they didn’t think children were in their future.
Two years ago, Rachel and her husband Steve moved into a little house and decided to talk to the doctor about trying again for a baby. The doctor said because of her past experience she would be a higher risk and would have to be monitored closely. However, they felt she had a good chance of having a healthy baby. She followed all the doctor’s orders and in July 2016 she happily gave birth to a healthy baby boy they named Rogan.
This time was not without its tragedy. Rachel’s father had been battling a debilitating disease and went on hospice within months of her due date. Tragically he passed away the same month Rogan was born, never having seen his newest grand-baby.
Then just a few short months later she was surprised to find out she was pregnant again. And in October 2017 she gave birth to beautiful baby girl name Silvee, Rogan just having turned one a couple months earlier.
With two healthy babies all seemed to be going well with the normal adventures you’d expect from raising two children so close in age. Then 6 months later tragedy struck once again. Rachel discovered a lump in her breast. Only being in her 30’s, the doctors had not suggested mammograms for her yet. When she went to the doctor they found several other lumps in addition to the larger one she had found. These were in both breasts and confirmed to be cancerous. During further tests it was discovered these were also in her lymph nodes.
Rachel immediately started her battle with cancer. The doctors recommended aggressive chemotherapy to shrink the cancer cells prior to surgery. To date she has had 4 treatments averaging 8-10 hours each. There will be at least two more before the doctors will consider surgery. They expect a double mastectomy with six weeks of recovery and then another 12 chemo treatments to follow. It is unknown at this time if they will be on the same schedule as her pre-surgery treatments. If so, then she can expect to a have at least another year of chemotherapy treatment after her recovery from surgery.
This has been an especially trying time for her; dealing with the incredible amount of pain, fatigue, loss of hair, as well as, many other symptoms that result from chemotherapy.
During all this she has been working hard to maintain a positive attitude and keep smiling. Despite the pain and overwhelming fatigue, she’s stayed strong and fought to also be there for her husband and two babies.
Although Steve can take leave under FMLA the state does not cover any disability pay as a caregiver. He has had to rely on the generosity of coworkers who have donated their vacation time so he can care for Rachel in the days right after a chemo treatment. Once this runs out his time off work will be unpaid. Because of the financial hardship caused by these ongoing treatments, Rachel has had to return to work which has become more difficult with each treatment. The symptoms increase after each treatment becoming more and more debilitating. So knowing there is still a lengthy treatment process ahead of them has added a lot of stress to an already stressful situation.
We have had loving support from family and friends, and Rachel fights to remain as self-sufficient as possible so as not to be a burden on anyone. Nevertheless, this is still an early stage with a long road ahead to recovery and a lot of bills to pay between now and then.
It is my greatest hope that this fund will help ease the additional financial burden this has caused allowing Rachel to recover; and at the same time allow her husband Steve to care for Rachel without worrying about how the next bill will be paid.
Moral support is abundant but money is short. So any donations you can make no matter the amount will be greatly appreciated. Everything will go directly to Rachel and her family.
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Thank you to everyone in advance for their support.￼￼￼
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