In March 2017, after receiving the unexpected news that I had breast cancer, I was even more shocked to discover that it was caused by a genetic mutation. This rare mutation (CDH1) not only caused the breast cancer, but also puts me at >80% risk for developing a very difficult to detect stomach cancer. Because there is no good way to monitor if cancer is developing, the recommended treatment is a prophylactic total gastrectomy - complete removal of the stomach. After all, if I don't have a stomach, I can't develop stomach cancer!
The worst part of this, is because it's a genetic mutation, each of my children had a 50% risk of inheriting the mutated gene. Unfortunately, my 25 year old son Nick lost the coin toss and shares my mutation. He has also decided to move forward with a total gastrectomy.
My surgery is scheduled for August 30; Nick's will be August 31. Both are being done by Dr. Mark Duncan at Johns Hopkins Medical Center in Baltimore, Maryland. Dr. Duncan has extensive experience with CDH1 patients and the complex surgery and pathology that will be required. We will stay in the hospital for 5-10 days, after which we will move to a nearby hotel or short-term rental for an additional two weeks before we are released to fly home.
We are asking for help to cover the costs of the flights and accommodations (for my husband Paul while Nick and I are in the hospital, and then for all of us between leaving the hospital and coming home) to continue our recoveries.
We are deeply grateful for all the love, prayers, and support that have surrounded us from the beginning, and appreciate any help you may be able to provide.
Shawndra, Paul & Nick
- Carolyn Bennett
- Rob Peters
- Claudette Christensen
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more