At 21 years old Terese lost her mother Denise to cancer after a two-year battle and more recently lost her father Bill. She and her two sisters had to grow up quickly. Cancer, unfortunately, was not a stranger to the family and in 2001 her Aunt Debra (her mother's sister) age 35, was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.
During Debra's battle, she discovered the BRCA2 gene mutation. She pushed all family members to be tested. After a 10-year battle ended for her Aunt, Terese decided that she would be tested. It was positive for the BRCA2. Terese went in for routine visits with her doctor and at age 32 Terese was diagnosed with stage zero breast cancer in her right breast - Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS). Because of her routine visits with her doctor they, were able to detect her cancer early. With her family history, Terese decided to have a double mastectomy and soon thereafter a hysterectomy. A sigh of relief for all - the surgeries went well and they also removed (3) lymph nodes that were suspect. Every three months Terese diligently went in for a breast exam. This spring, Terese decided to train for the Avon Breast Cancer 39 Mile walk in San Francisco. While training she was having pain in her breast. In July she had her routine doctor's appointment and mentioned to her doctor that she was having a sharp pain and felt a mass of some kind. The doctor confirmed that there was a lump. Terese thought that it could have been scar tissue from her previous surgery. The doctor was concerned it did not feel like scar tissue and immediately ordered additional tests. Terese quickly learned her worst fear, her cancer had returned and was Stage 2. Terese's doctor's moved very quickly as this was proving to be an aggressive growing mass that grew from zero to 2 cm in three months. A Within a week and a half of this discovery, Terese started the 20-week chemo treatment on August 30th, 2016. Terese is an amazing Mother of three beautiful children: Peyton (10), Markus (8) and Avery (6) and has very limited resourced to support her family on a single income. Her Sisters and family are turning over every rock to find Grants or scholarships she can qualify for to ensure the best care possible. However, the medical bills and daily expenses will not be fully covered by her insurance. We know that Terese is a strong and positive person and your help will ensure she can focus on her recovery and healing.