Cancer Sucks. Help Katie Beat It.

Katie is one of the nicest, kindest, sweetest people I know. I’ve known her for a relatively short time; only about a year and a half. In that time, though, I’ve gotten to see and hear about just what kind of person she is. She works as a nurse, because helping people has been a passion of hers for a long time (well, as long as can be expected when you’re only 25). She spent 6 months in Sudan teaching elementary age kids.

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I know a fair amount about Katie because she’s been friends with my daughter for a long time – since middle school or thereabouts.  She’s also my daughter-in-law. My son Josh joined in with my daughter, my wife, and some of my daughter’s friends on a “girls week at the beach” two years ago, and that’s when -according to my daughter- they started acting “weird”. Weirdness turned to mutual affection, and affection to love, and just last September they were married in one of the nicest weddings I’ve had the privilege to attend (I don’t sound biased or anything, do I?).

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In April, after only six months of marriage, something went wrong. She was having pain in her midsection, and symptoms that just didn’t seem to resolve themselves. She got checked out at a doctor, and that’s when the news came: she had cancer. We didn’t understand at first all the details, because Katie and Josh didn’t have them all. As the weeks went by, though, the ugly truth started to reveal itself: it was andrenocortical carcinoma, and it was advanced. It’s very rare, with only 1 or 2 people per million being diagnosed each year. The oncologist said she could have had it for a couple of years, based on the size of the tumor.

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As soon as could be arranged, she started chemotherapy treatments: four consecutive days per month of intravenous delivery, and pills that she has to take daily. As you can probably imagine, the chemotherapy is taking its toll on her. She’s had to be in the hospital for multiple days a couple of times already for related conditions.

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In spite of the bad news and the treatments, Katie’s been enduring all this with grace and a quiet strength that I’m not sure I could muster were I in her shoes. There are lots of people praying for her to be healed, and through the fantastic doctors and nurses she’s been exposed to so far, we believe God can do that. Lots of folks we know, and quite a few that we don’t have been asking “what can I do to help?” Katie and Josh would tell them, for the first couple of months, that there was nothing, really, but they’d let them know when they could. Visits to the hospital for multiple days, and (really) expensive medications can run up big bills, even if you have insurance. Those co-pays start to add up, and Katie has not been able to keep working full-time at her nurse’s job. Josh is trying to grow a couple of small businesses, and is doing alright, but the bills come fast and furious.

They started a fund to try and cover some of the bills that have been collecting, and those that will inevitably come. It’s run by Give Forward, who have helped raise over $55 million for folks like Katie. They’re trying to raise $15,000 to cover expenses, and the shortage that arises from her not working. I’d appreciate any contribution you’d care to make, no matter how small. Click the link in the previous sentence to go there, or see the widget in the right column.

Thanks for reading.

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