This year we are in shock as Wendy is facing a new FIGHT.
The breast cancer has returned and has now spread to her spine and pelvic bone. Wendy will need many rounds of radiation and her treatment plan will focus radiation therapy to her T6-T8 vertebrae.
At this point in her diagnosis, the cancer has weakened the bone and caused a fracture. There are several other small tumors that were found in her spine and pelvic bone. The doctors are most concerned about her T6-T8 vertebrae and will begin radiation treatment in a couple weeks.
In the short-term, Wendy is scheduled to have a surgery on September 5. Doctors have advised that the first step in her treatment is to have a hysterectomy, due to the estrogen feeding the cancer. Then they will start radiation treatment two weeks post-surgery to attack the tumors on the spine.
At 41 years old, this is a surprising diagnosis. Wendy has two sons and a husband, a 12 year career at Thunderbird, a host of family activities and obligations, and all the many pushes and pulls that accompany a full life in today’s world. This will now change. Stage 4 is NOT curable but can be treated to slow growth.
Wendy’s boys, Damian 16 and Gabriel 12 as well as her husband Cesar will be a source of emotional and financial support. Wendy’s husband is a 6th grade teacher but there are no insurance benefits through his contract, so they are dependent on Wendy’s health insurance.
Additionally Wendy cannot stop working because the family is reliant on her income. I have been witness that even through all her testing and MRI scans she is still online working and taking care of her students. She is so strong and selfless that even the new cohort of Executive MGM students that only met her for a couple days are asking me how she is doing.
This is a time where Wendy needs our help to focus on her health and making memories with her family. We can help build this cushion of support, while the medical community provides the treatment and care needed to see Wendy achieve an improved quality of life
At work, we can donate hours of compassionate leave to colleagues, so when she runs out of sick and vacation hours she will have temporary support.
The stress of the bills is what Wendy really needs our help with. She will be undergoing many rounds of radiation and testing. These treatments may leave her feeling too ill to work some days. If we can help relieve the stress of her bills that can be a comfort to her and her family.
Thank you in advance for your help. We will keep you updated over the coming months.
Suzanne and all her colleagues at the Thunderbird School of Global Management
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