Help Robin Navy Vet Fighting Stage 4 Breast Cancer

Alicia and Angela Duncan are organizing this fundraiser on behalf of Robin Ray-Rutherford. Her words are shared throughout the events below:

My friend, my breast cancer buddy must fight again and I hate this.  As a cancer survivor myself, being told you have cancer is nothing less than terrifying so being told you have it again and it's terminal is unimaginable. This is what my dear friend is having to deal with.

In August of 2011 at the age of 47 she found out she had breast cancer 3C (started at Stage 4). I remember her telling me that the lady on the other end of the phone for the American Cancer society saved her life that day. A stranger took the time to talk her off the ledge of “I am dying”.  Robin then embarks on the fight of her life – 34 lymphnodes removed with cancer. What does she tell her family – Husband of 21 years, 2 daughters 11 & 16? She knows her daughters are looking to her, the strong her.

Doctors all told her she cannot have reconstruction. Robin doesn’t quit or accept failure easily, she researched and found an unbelievable breast center in New Orleans who had stellar recommendations and doctors with experience in lymph node dissections. 14 hours of surgery and she had a chest and the softball mass removed from her arm pit. It was time to recover and figure out her next steps. And did she – She joined Pink Phoenix Dragon Boat Team in Portland, OR. She went to practices 3 times a week and it gave her strength and such joy. This is where I met Robin as I am also a Breast Cancer Survivor.

Robin had a 33-year career in training, negotiating, and consulting for the Navy. Cancer the first time, caused the loss of her home, loss of a wonderful career, and loss of their nest egg in her 401K. The next 7 years were filled with many of those ‘moments of joy’, and many challenges as she struggled to find a new career. 3 jobs later she landed in Real Estate. She wanted her girls to know that even when life goes nothing like what you had planned, you have the determination to keep going and there are gifts you can find along the way.
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Current Day in Robin’s words ~ August 2019: “As a Breast Cancer Dragon Boat team member, we had the opportunity to compete at the International Breast Cancer Participatory Event (Racing) in Florence Italy 2018. As I prepared my body to be chosen for the team, I started having pain in my lower back and right leg during practices. I chalked it up to the workout routine, stress, and work hours, but no matter what I tried, the pain remained. My next pain came in my front ribs, a bump appeared. Skip ahead to Italy, we raced hard all week first week in July. That Monday, after races over weekend I could not get out of bed my back hurt so bad. Once you’ve had cancer, you worry that every little ache and pain is a recurrence. I was sure that when I called my oncologist to ask about my rib and back pain, she would tell me I was overreacting. Instead, she scheduled me for imaging.

Within 24 hours I was imaged and within 12 hours I had the news. The news hit me as if the wind was knocked out of me.” And now, exactly 8 years later – I was given news that every survivor fears and has completely shook my family’s life – Oncologist ringing in my head over & over, "You have Stage 4 metastatic breast cancer in your bones." I am going to die soon.”

 Our beloved Robin, our warrior who is an amazing woman and beloved local Vancouver Realtor.  And with her amazing efforts as the administrator for Pink Sistas, Inc., needs help.  Her income has changed. Over 7 years of medical treatment, fighting a new normal, 3 career changes, non profit work, she once again must endure a FOREVER treatment that doesn’t stop. She currently is working 6 days a week with her real estate career. She loves working and has such a huge heart. She even gives a portion of her own real estate commissions to a non-profit of the client’s choice. She beams every time when she shares her stories with us about finding the home of their dreams. In fact, almost every client has become close with Robin and a true friend. Her clients have rallied with her & supported her work with Pink Sistas Inc., a nonprofit group providing retreats for women with breast cancer at no cost, on a beautiful floating home sitting on the Columbia River.

Robin has given up so much – As well spending quality time with family and friends due to having to work throughout this time to ensure her husband  & children will not have to endure the costs once shes's passed. But the fight and pain has prevented her from being able to do a few other things:

> #Pink Anchors:  This was her dream non-profit she just started and had to stop (see logo below)
> Paddling with Pink Phoenix, Running, Working Out
> Missing too much time when her kids were little and not giving her husband quality time
> Riding her orange and black Yamaha 700 in the Dunes of Oregon with her family
> Camping in their trailer all along Oregon and Washington Coasts, Swimming/Kayaking
> Just rolling around with her fur kiddos she loves so much!
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As she is slowing down due to serious bone pain in her spine, ribs, & femur, her income has started to dwindle. Her bone treatment alone leaves her having to stay home and not move for 2 days. She does work anyway but in horrible pain.  I honestly do not know how she does it now. She never stops and does not want her family to have to struggle after she is gone. Robin is no stranger to struggling or hustling to make ends meet, but now it is time for her to rest and focus solely on her treatment/ridding her body of this aggressive cancer. I don’t think she will stop helping clients or Pink Sistas until she is forced to.

Now more than ever, Robin NEEDS our HELP... She has been doing amazing things – Immunocal for her immune system, DoTerra oils for all ailments, a diet that is healthy and not laced with chemicals. Her fight consists of twice daily Immunotherapy drug (2nd one) which is roughly $1100.00 a month. A bone shot and 2 shots for Estrogen blocker since all 3 pill forms have failed (over 25K mo). Cancer markers are stable, but the bone metastases are still growing and spreading. Her oncologist is suggesting that she may have to endure Chemotherapy if this treatment plan does not work. This is not good news and we want a cancer’ pill to work. Robin has made it sadly clear she doesn't want to do chemo because she doesn't want to "die sick".   We pray and hope there is a trial drug out there that she can be accepted to. She is open to all possibilities but does not want her family to see her endure Chemo again. So very hard on them. The funding from your contributions will go directly towards assisting Robin with basic living expenses, groceries, prescription costs, uninsured medical expenses, medical co-pays, and any other needs directly related to her care. Please believe me she does not want to be in this position. She struggled and came out on the other side the first time with cancer with heavy losses.

Robin has no close family members to support her except for her daughters, husband, and Sister-In-Law. Her family are her friends, pulling together to help support her through this journey – another new normal as well as what the unknown is ahead. We ask that if you can give, please do. There is no such thing as a small donation and every little bit is a blessing for her and her family.


Her oldest is a young First LT in the Marine Corps, San Diego, CA. Her youngest had to take a year off (2018) to earn her share of college tuition with a scholarship because Robin had to focus on the other bills once diagnosed. She is now starting her first year at the University of Maine 2019. Driven like their Mom and Dad, she has touched so many with her kindred spirit and bright smile.  She wants to see her Mom AT Graduation.
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It's now our turn to show her how loved she is and give her the added strength she needs to beat cancer. We will keep everyone informed on Robin’s progress through her Go Fund Me Page. Your notes and smiles will be a blessing for her. Please leave notes and pictures. We thank you all in advance for your kind consideration/generosity and know Robin and her family will be eternally grateful for any help you can provide.

“We are living in a day and age where cancer is now considered a chronic disease or illness. We are not dying of cancer every day; we are living with cancer. When I was diagnosed over 8 years ago, I shared in the same panic that anyone has when given the "Cancer Card". However, I have learned, through time, and treatment, and survivorship, that life really is all about what we make it, and not what has been handed to us. For Stage 4 diagnosis, it is not a matter of when the cancer will be cured, it’s about “What can I fit in before I die?" 
"I am a better version of myself because I have lived with 2 diagnoses, one having no future. I live differently now, and I know what’s important. Living each day as if it’s your last seems cliché to say, however, it is oh so very true for my story.” ~ Robin Ray-Rutherford

Robin's Warrior VIDEO 

Medical Expenses 


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Donations

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  • Kim Peterson 
    • $50 
    • 2 mos
  • Meachel Hill 
    • $200 
    • 2 mos
  • Heidi Ware 
    • $50 
    • 6 mos
  • Julie Ramdial 
    • $50 
    • 10 mos
  • Heather Rekucki 
    • $100 
    • 11 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Robin’s Fight Squad (7)

Alicia Duncan 
Organizer
Raised $5,500 from 9 donations
Portland, OR
Robin Ray-Rutherford 
Beneficiary
Jennifer Burcham 
Team member
Raised $300 from 3 donations
Melissa Marinez 
Team member
Raised $290 from 2 donations
Beth Buechel Cabral 
Team member
Raised $100 from 2 donations
Micki Waters 
Team member
See all

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