This is Katisha, a 25-year-old registered nurse at Milwaukee's Aurora Sinai. She has stage 4 breast cancer. This is her husband, Ted, a 27-year-old and new intern resident in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Needless to say, their lives aren’t going exactly as planned.
Ted and Katisha met in 2011. They quickly realized they had very similar interests including cooking, drinking coffee, excursions to the zoo, traveling and watching Cutthroat Kitchen. They shared similar family values and knew they were meant for each other from the start, and together they made plans for an extraordinary life. Katisha worked hard on a 3rd shift nights and weekends program as a nurse to support Ted while he studied to become a physician. In September of 2016, during Ted’s fourth and final year of medical school, Katisha and Ted were married. They were so excited for their life together.
Just three weeks after their wedding, Katisha was diagnosed with metastatic, triple negative, BRCA1 positive breast cancer. This meant incurable cancer, and palliative chemotherapy was the only option. They were quickly faced with the realization that their time together would be much shorter than planned. Even with this knowledge, they continued to cherish every moment together and work toward their life goals. They bought a condo – both shared a dream to own their own property. They also became the proud owners of two vivacious rescue dogs, Paisley and George. Even between her chemotherapy treatments, Katisha continued caring for patients in her career as a nurse full time while Ted finished medical school. Things were going well with chemotherapy, until Katisha started experiencing headaches, which was uncommon for her. The day prior to starting residency, Ted and Katisha received the heartbreaking news that her cancer had spread to her brain. This meant more treatments and time in the hospital.
The situation before them is inexplicably challenging. Between the long work hours of a demanding residency schedule, or having to battle through cancer without having been an adult for more than a few years, it makes the situation before them difficult. They are both tasked with having to balance time with each other, family and friends all while Ted continues with the rigors of residency. They both cherish every moment with each other; whether it be walking their dogs, strolling through the zoo, or in the hospital -the love between them continues to grow, unbeaten by her unfortunate and life-altering diagnosis.
While Katisha continues to be strong and courageous, Ted continues to be a loving husband and medical trainee. Together they continue to fight hard through her earth-shattering diagnosis and we’d like to do something to help supplement some of their medical and personal costs during this incredibly difficult time. We hope you can help too.
- Katie Wollak
- Matilda McClusky
- Jennifer Alizadeh
- Lauren Davy
Organizer and beneficiary
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