I am writing to tell you a remarkable story about a young woman who had brain cancer. She is 34 and is raising her 13-year-old son as a single parent. Last October, Becky began having bad headaches and falling spells. She would get disoriented and dizzy. She went in for an MRI, which revealed a brain tumor. She was sent for surgery to remove the mass and test the tissue to confirm her brain cancer. This was to be her third brain surgery - Becky had been diagnosed 22 years ago at the age of 11 in the sixth grade with the exact same brain tumor type. She had to endure two brain surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. Because of the limited resources in our area in 1990 for children’s cancers, Becky and her family had the added burden of traveling for treatment to Duke in North Carolina. This time, she is able to be home while she goes through treatment again. After her surgery, she had more chemotherapy and radiation. She hasn’t been able to work so she has tried to take some courses to complete a degree but with great difficulty due to treatment demands and money constraints. Becky told me that her greatest challenges are the financial strain of not being able to work and provide for her son, and the stress of the brain tumor recurring. She works hard to maintain her independence so she can be a fully engaged mom. Her disability income covers just basic living expenses for her and her son, so she is planning to find some work as soon as she is released to do so.
She knows you are telling her story and is overwhelmed to be considered. She has always been the person trying to help others and now that others want to help her, she said, “I don’t know how to act.” She stated that she has always wanted to take her son to Disney World in Orlando but there’s no money to do that. When she was 11 and first underwent treatment, she was granted a Disney trip through the Make-A-Wish foundation but was too sick to get on rides. She would love to be able to take her son on a Disney vacation now and enjoy feeling like a kid again.
She promised herself she would try and make this Christmas special for him so she put an Xbox on layaway at Wal-Mart. She has prayed that the money to pay it off would come before Christmas. She has had such a difficult time providing him with the extras, like movie tickets, gift cards for Game Stop, and dinners out.
HER own Christmas Wish is simple. She has lost weight during treatment and coping with her diabetes. She would love a chance to buy some new clothes for herself that fit.
She wants this Christmas to be a time of blessings and healing for herself and her son. Thank you for sharing Becky’s story. I know that every blessing, whether big or small, that you and your listeners are able to share with this amazing young woman and her son will be most appreciated.
Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing,
Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial
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