Clark Family Curse with Cancer

Let me introduce you to the Clark family. Joseph and Louise had 5 beautiful daughters. Rebecca, Anna, Shirley, Monica and Tina.

They all grew up in a small 900 square foot home in Troy Ohio. We always had what we needed, but never much more. Our father over came alcoholism in 1986 with the help of AA, supportive family and friends. All daughters very proud. One by one the princesses left home and started families of their own.
When the youngest was a senior in high school, another challenge arouse for the family- cancer. In December 1990, Joseph was told he was terminal with colon cancer.   
He attempted the fight to make it to his goal- his daughters graduation. Cancer won May 28th 1991,
7 days prior to his youngest child walking to receive her diploma. Graduation became the same day her father was buried. The Clark girls were devastated.
As the years went on, so did the girls overcoming the many life challenges thrown in their path. Children, divorce, career changes- all met and won. 

In 2006- cancer revisited the Clark family- the oldest, Becky at 45 was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She had surgery and all was well.
Several months later, Tina the youngest,  at 33 was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She had surgery, and all was well.

Both had received information from their oncologist about genetic testing, but did not proceed.
In 2008 cancer stole another Clark family member-Annie was 45 when she died unexpectedly from colon cancer complications- September 28th 2008, one year prior her youngest child's graduation.



The smaller Clark family mourned yet another loss. Now cancer became a very scary realization for each daughter. 2010 brought colon cancer to another Clark daughter- Shirley. She had bowel a resection and became the first Clark to survive colon cancer!!

In 2011 cancer snuck in even with watchful medical teams and Becky was diagnosed with colon cancer. In a fight for her life, she had her whole colon removed in 2012, and became the second cancer survivor. 
Then the genetic testing began. Advised by medical professionals, genetic testing would determine if cancer was in our DNA- Lynch Syndrome. "Lynch syndrome, often called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC), is an inherited disorder that increases the risk of many types of cancer, particularly cancers of the colon (large intestine) and rectum, which are collectively referred to as colorectal cancer. People with Lynch syndrome also have an increased risk of cancers of the stomach, small intestine, liver, gallbladder ducts, upper urinary tract, brain, and skin. Additionally, women with this disorder have a high risk of cancer of the ovaries and lining of the uterus (the endometrium). People with Lynch syndrome may occasionally have noncancerous (benign) growths (polyps) in the colon, called colon polyps. In individuals with this disorder, colon polyps occur earlier but not in greater numbers than they do in the general population" http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/lynch-syndrome
2011- Becky was found positive for Lynch syndrome. Tina was negative.
2013 cancer errupted within Shirley again- uterine. She had hysterectomy, and tested positive for Lynch Syndrome. Now younger generation started the testing.  Becky- one child positive, one negative, one not testing. Annie's children- both tested positive. Monica- only sister to not have cancer- tested positive. Her children not testing.
2014 did not leave Shirley alone. Vaginal cancer invaded. After chemo and radiation , Shirley was given all clear. Both of her daughters tested positive for Lynch Syndrome. 

This brings us up to date. 
2015- two Clark members deceased- father Joseph, second daughter Annie;
three daughters positive for Lynch, five grandchildren positive, four untested and two negative. On April  9th 2015 @215pm I sat with my sister as her oncologist told her she had incurable stage four uterine cancer, metastatic to bone. Shirley has done all her screenings. Kept all her appointments. Did genetic testing, hysterectomy, bowel resection, countless colonoscopies, radiation, chemotherapy but only 46 birthdays. Buried her father when she was only 23, and a sister when she was 40.
Sitting with my sister tonight discussing what she wants to do with her remaining time- Spend it with her children and grandchildren, watch them play.

Cole-6, Ralynn-4 both always smiling,just like their momma Lisa who at 24 will be burying her mother later this year with her sister Danielle who is 25. Gary is 5 and his brother Stryker is 2.

As we all ponder why, how and scream please leave us alone, answers do not come. 
Please take moment and love the person beside you, smile at a stranger, acknowledge each human being as a value today because life is not fair, it is not promised and it goes by in a blink of an eye. 
Yes I went on with our story, it only gives you a glimpse of our relationship with cancer, that unyielding monster who is stealing our family. I am reaching out asking for your contribution to make a memory for my sister and her family. Her prognosis is 6-9 months.  My wish for her and her family is a memory- a memory so big and meaningful- cancer will not steal it away. Shirley is starting to weaken in body and spirit- learning of your stolen future, feeling the thief bite at your flesh is exhausting.
I have listed $10,000 for our goal- 
$5000   to buy a three day stay at Great Wolf Lodge https://www.greatwolf.com/mason/waterpark-attractions/attractions/creation-station
for Shirley, her husband and her two daughters families and $5000 to cover cremation, memorial per her request.
Thank you for listening and please share- Spread the word! Colonoscopies save lives, extend lives, allows memories to be made! Make memories today, tomorrow is never promised.

Donations

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  • Susan Bennett 
    • $51 
    • 61 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $55 
    • 62 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 63 mos
  • Heather Chambers 
    • $50 
    • 63 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 63 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Tina Clark Douglas 
Organizer
Sidney, OH
Michael Douglas 
Beneficiary
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