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Teaming up Together for Tammy & Aaron

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Tammy Churness is a wife, mother, grandmother, friend to many and just all around an amazing, positive person. She is married to MN State Patrol (MSP) District Investigator Aaron Churness. Aaron has been with MSP for 27 years and works out of the Duluth District Office. Aaron is a member of the Lodge 9 Fraternal Order of Police. They have been married since 2002. Together, Tammy and Aaron have three kids, Katelin (Laine) who is 28 and has two kids, Harlee who is 7, Jalen who is 2 and she is expecting another little one. They also have a son Alec who is 19 and a daughter, Emma who is 17 and going into her senior year at Two Harbors High School.  

On 01/21/2021 Tammy got the news that no one would ever want to hear: “You have stage four breast cancer.” Because it was already in stage four, surgery was not an option. Since that time the cancer has metastasized into her right eye, her lymph nodes, the other breast, her cerebral spinal fluid and bones. As recently as this week, there is concern that it may now be in her kidneys, but they are waiting on the biopsies to confirm that. Tammy will never reach remission, this is considered “terminal cancer,” but Tammy doesn’t like to use those words. She sets goals in life for events that she wants to be here for and so far she has gotten to see her daughter get married, became a grandma again, got Alec off to college, and is well on her way to watching Emma finish high school and see her third grandbaby come into the world.  

Currently Tammy is receiving full body chemo (Doxil) as well as intrathecal chemo which is administered directly into her spine, every other week. She just finished a round of radiation as well. Some days are better than others, and she’s ready to fight this, and other days are harder to fight, like when she gets turned away from getting her lifesaving medications due to her body not being able to handle the meds that day due to low platelets. On 05/26/2023 they learned that Tammy had a Pericardial Effusion where cancerous fluid was surrounding her heart and needed to be drained. In addition to that, early July found her back in the hospital with her kidneys blocked, resulting in another surgery. At this time they are waiting to see if this is further cancer and they will need to add fighting renal failure to their list. If all of this wasn’t enough, in 2021 when Tammy was most scared about starting this whole process, she was in the hospital, and was given too much Dilaudid by a medical professional. She was overdosed to the point where she needed to be given Narcan, twice to bring her back to life. Tammy lives with lymphedema in her arms due to the cancer blocking her circulation every day. She also will need to be on steroids for the rest of her life as the immunotherapy shut down her pituitary gland.

Because of all of this, Tammy had to quit her job and Aaron has had to take a significant amount of time off work to help get Tammy to all her appointments and take care of her on her down days. She has lost her hair, is unable to do the things she loves in her community, missed celebrations with her family, and has had to explain to her kids that this will someday take her away from them. Which she reports is the most difficult thing for her. Despite all of this Tammy remains hopeful, positive and a fighter because “What’s my other option?”

The Churness family has turned down offers of help for the last two years because “There’s so many people who have it worse than us,” but they have now humbly accepted that people want to help them and they are accepting of those who care for them to put on this fundraiser, hosted by Tig’s BBQ on 08/19/2023 from 12 – 3 in Duluth (more details to come, watch their FB page for update).  In the meantime, please share their Go Fund Me far and wide to help alleviate the massive financial hardship this has become for their family, and plan on Team Tammy gathering for the best BBQ in the Twin Ports on August 19th from 12 – 3 to show the Churness’ how much they’re loved!


  • Mary Anderson
    • $40 
    • 11 mos
  • Jacqueline Kittilson
    • $200 
    • 11 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 11 mos
  • Susan Nelson
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
  • Jean Vito
    • $50 
    • 11 mos

Organizer and beneficiary

Brooke LeClaire
Two Harbors, MN
Tammy Churness

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