I titled it Cancer Free Catalina because she is a fighter and this cancer doesn't stand a chance with her will to survive and our will to support her through it.
Catalina has an extremely rare form of cancer called Medullary Thyrioid Cancer (3-4% all thyroid cancers diagnosed). She had surgery last year in hopes of taking it all out and becoming cured. Unfortunately upon surgery and pathology testing after the surgery, the cancer had spread to a near by lymph node and she was staged at stage 3. Therefore, at this point a cure at her stage is very rare. She will never live without it.
She did not see a MTC specialist for the first surgery and he unfortunately did not get all of the cancerous mass and/or it has reoccurred.
For the past year and a half since diagnosis and surgery, Catalina was continuing her follow ups and scans although it wasn’t with an MTC specialist because her insurance did not cover it. Catalina was told that all scans were coming back clear. Catalina and her mom have been researching and learning everything they can since the diagnosis which led them to their first time attending the Thyroid Cancer Conference this past October. At the conference they got to go to many different lectures by the top and leading MTC endocrinologist and surgeons. She had the opportunity to ask personal questions and talk face to face with many of these specialists which led her to meeting Dr. Gary Clayman(a TOP thyroid cancer surgeon who does MTC surgeries and second surgeries everyday in Florida.) She explained to him her situation and he recommended an MTC endocrinologist(Dr. Duick) in Phoenix, AZ. Catalina sought out this doctor and made an appointment even though her insurance would not support her seeing him. He reviewed her case and did his own ultrasound in which he found recurring if not persistent Medullary Thyroid Cancer in the neck. This was a huge moment of realizing how important it is to see the right people. If she wouldn't have gone, she wouldn't have know it has returned.
This doctor agrees and recommends that she go to Dr. Clayman in Tampa, Florida for her second surgery. Catalina has already sent him all her records and paid an out of pocket consultation fee to see Dr. Clayman. He has called her personally twice in which they have reviewed and spoken of her case together. The following steps will be a CT scan of her chest and liver as the cancer likes to spread to these areas as well. She is also now just in the process of gathering the money in order for her to be able to schedule her surgery appointment with him hopefully no later than the beginning of March. Catalina is in the process of an appeal towards her insurance for coverage as well. The chances are low but she hasn’t lost hope.
This type of cancer is extremely rare and her insurance does not cover the treatment and care she needs.
She needs a second surgery ASAP. It's very expensive so EVERTHING HELPS. She had no idea it was back and was told she was clear for the time being. She knew she would always live with it but had no idea it would be back this quickly. Please support Catalina in her journey to kick cancers a$$!!!!!!
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