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In January 2012 my life changed with a single doctors visit. Prior to I had a growth emerging from my belly button. A visit to my primary care in Nov 2011 left me with the impression that the growth was a side effect associated with the fact I had gall bladder surgery less than a year before. To make sure I was referred to the general surgeon whom completed the laparoscopic surgery. Immediately upon seeeing the growth his gut and expertise eluded to cancer. I was in complete denial and couldn’t fathom at 25 I may have cancer. There I was with my 15 month old son going through the motions in utter shock. On January 9th the doctors suspicions were confirmed. The extent of the damage was so much that he could not determine what type or stage cancer it was therefore a debulking exploratory surgery would be necessary. On February 13 I underwent a 13 hour surgery. A complete hysterectomy, appendectomy, ileostomy placement, 1.5 foot of bowel removed, spleen removed, stomach lining removed, belly button, diaphragm and liver dissection. 15 days recovery in the hospital followed by months of discomfort and pain. Mostly due to the ileostomy bag. I began chemo shortly after being cleared and have pretty much been on some form or another since 2012. In August I will be celebrating my 7th birthday since diagnosis and turning 32. I truly would not be here today with out the love and support from my husband and son. As well as family and friends and of course my doctors. I have had many ups and downs and been told on multiple occasions that I was going to die and should prepare for my end of life. But as of today I am still here. My husband stood by my side more than I could ever imagined or prayed for. Two days following the confirmation of cancer at my general surgeons office, he stood by my side and confirmed his vows to become husband and wife. He did it without question or hesitation . Instead of a honeymoon, he learned how to change my ileostomy bag and take care of me in ways neither of us could fathom. He is my rock in this fight and I know with him and my son we are unstoppable. I am currently scheduled to undergo surgery in a couple days and have a pleurex catheter placed to drain fluid from my lung. I was diagnosed with trapped lung and have no functionality with it.

I pray every day that I will live to see my son graduate and to start a family. I hope that I can grow old with my husband and to see and live as many memories and life events as possible.

~Natasha B.
South Berwick, ME

I do not know what year my mom was diagnosed. I just know one day she was fine and the next moment she was going banc and forth to the doctors. We were convinced she will be ok. She did not share any details of her illness with her children. Her mom and my father kept the information from us. I remember when we she began treatment in a hospital in Chicago. That is when I realized she had cancer. We still did not know what kind, but she went there every other weekend. Sometime she will stay weeks at a time. She met a group of ladies she would out on outings, The food was awesome. Visiting her was always something to look forward to. She still remain positive. In 2010, my mom died. The last I saw her alive was Novembers 2010. I got the call from Michigan that my mom died in her classroom. She was a teacher and went through her entire day. When school let out my father found her. That was the worst day of my life. In 2013, I found out what my mom dies of. She had Ovarian Cancer. My dad told us 3 years later what she died from. He told us the details of her struggle mental and physically. In November the doctors told her it was nothing they can do. They gave her how many weeks she had left.

~ Khadijah H.

I want to thank you for the care package you sent me with the brochures. I took the backpack & let the kids stuff it with things for my mother in law. She got coloring books, crayons, crossword puzzles, new flip flops, new hat…they just kept finding stuff to put in it! She was overjoyed! I have let my husband look over all the information as well, especially the caregiver pamphlet. I think it has helped him a little in dealing with his mother being so sick. Even though we are miles away from one another, I can’t tell you how valuable the support from you & your organization has been to my family. Knowing there is someone out there who knows what we are going through & is willing to reach out with support is priceless. Thank you just doesn’t seem to cut it!

Thank you,

Asheville, NC 

“This was my first 5k, and what a great event! I just started running in March. I attended the warm-up in July with Kai and really benefited from that as well as a 1:1 with him after. When I was a senior in high school, fifteen years ago, my girlfriend’s mom died of ovarian cancer. It was very fast five months from diagnosis to losing her. She wasn’t exactly on my mind when I registered, but she certainly was as I got to the band shell Saturday morning. I look forward to running for T.E.A.L. for years to come!”


Brooklyn, NY

I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Fallopian Tube cancer September 8, 2016. Two days after giving birth to my baby girl. I did not want a c section at all and feared one. However, God was watching over and my baby was not coming vaginally and I had to have a c section. That is when they found all the tumors in my body. My baby girl saved me. I was first diagnosed with primary peritoneal cancer. I completed 3 cycles of chemo and had a de bulking surgery December 6th. I just started more chemo. After the surgery and with the pathology report the DR believes it started in my Fallopian tube which changed my diagnosis. I’m BRCA 1 positive. I’m sharing just in case anyone has questions and to bring awareness. I’m sure most of you know the signs of ovarian and Fallopian tube cancer but just a reminder:

Bloating, abdominal pain, urgency to urinate, feeling full quickly after eating. Please don’t take these lightly. Also, there is power in prayer and a positive attitude. The DRs are so surprised how my body is responding to the chemo and how well I did in surgery. Stay strong and have faith and hope!

Reston, VA


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